Scientific advances and innovation

One of the main challenges of software-in-the-loop approaches is the communication speed between hardware and software. To be tackled, the methodology both requires a fast numerical aerodynamic software and a fast communication procedure. This constraint is not always well addressed that has the consequence to alter the response of the model scale and leads to a bias during the analysis of the results. The SOFTWIND project gathers experts in control command that will provide an efficient and innovative process for the communication between the hardware and the numerical simulator. Innovation will also come from an experimental arrangement of rotational masses that will be used for representing the rotor inertial loads.

Expected technical and economic impact

The SOFTWIND project will contribute to a better understanding of the behavior of floating wind turbine and especially of the influence of the turbine control on the overall dynamics. It will provide a robust and accurate validation tool that will help both developers and researchers to accelerate their developments, and mose specially with regard to the optimization of the compromises between stability, aging of the structure, and electrical production.

Key project milestones

  • 24/10/2017: - Kick-Off
  • January 2018: - First tests
  • 2019: - Tests of the D-ICE Eng. Controls laws
  • October 2020: - End of the project


An experimental platform based on a software-in-the-loop approach and dedicated to floating wind turbine.


A test bench with a single actuator has been tested from December 2018 to January 2019. The purpose of this set up was the validation of :

  • the communication protocols,
  • the real-time execution of the numerical model,
  • the motion and force observers,
  • the preliminary actuator model identification.

Preliminary validation tests consist in imposed motions by means of a hexapod (cf. Figure below) and will be followed by wave tank tests next September.

Fig. 1 : Experimental setup currently used for the validation of the communication protocols.

In mid-November 2019, the SOFTIND emulation system was used within the framework of the H2020 Blue Growth Farm project (cf. Fig. 2).


Figure 2: The SOFTIND emulation system used within the framework of the H2020 project Blue Growth Farm.


Publications and papers published

  • V Arnal, JC Gilloteaux, F Bonnefoy, S Aubrun (2019), Poster SOTWIND,  French American Innovation Day à Boston 18-19 march 2019.
  • V Arnal, JC Gilloteaux, F Bonnefoy, S Aubrun (2019). Hybrid model testing of floating wind turbines: test bench for system identification and performance assessment. 38th International Conference on Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering


To be part of National, European or International collaborative projects with public and private partners.