Scientific advances and innovation

  • Multidisciplinary approach to characterize the wave/wind/structure coupling for a floating wind turbine
  • Emulation of wind turbine floater motions in an atmospheric boundary layer wind tunnel
  • Experiments performed in controlled (atmospheric wind tunnel) and real (SEM-REV) conditions
  • Set-up of wake dynamic models for floating wind turbines

Expected technical and economic impact

FLOATEOLE project illustrates the objective of the research lab in Hydrodynamics, Energetics and Atmospheric Environment (LHEEA) to contribute, through a multidisciplinary approach, to the optimization of floating wind turbines operation by studying the consequences of the wave/wind/structure coupling on the performance and durability of the wind energy converters subjected to harsh and non-deterministic operating conditions.

The goal of the project is to combine wind tunnel and full-scale offshore experiments in order to characterize the wave influence on the aerodynamic behavior of the floating wind turbines and on their wake development. Indeed, wake interactions, particularly strong in offshore conditions, are responsible of power production loss and structural fatigue increase. The wave effects will be emulated in wind tunnel by applying a controlled motion to the wind turbine models. The motion scenarios will be representative of idealized sea states, and then of more realistic ones. The unsteady behavior of the wind turbine wakes will be captured and some unsteady wake models adapted to floating systems will be proposed. This work will be completed by full scale measurements with a scanning LiDAR system of the local environment of the floating wind turbine prototype FLOATGEN; the wind resource as well as the wind turbine wake will therefore be captured in real sea state conditions.

FLOATEOLE project highlights the positioning of the Region Pays de Loire in the landscape of the offshore wind energy research and development. This major objective contributes to the overall optimization of the marine renewable energies and so, to tackle the energetic, climatic and socio-economic challenges levied by the energy transition.

Key project milestones

  • November 2017 - Project Kick-off
  • October 2019 - Emulation of floater motions in an atmospheric boundary layer wind t
  • Fall 2020 - Wind resource Measurements in the surrounding of the prototype FLOATGEN in SEM-REV
  • November 2021 - Wake dynamic models for floating wind turbines


Emulator of wind turbine floater motions in an atmospheric boundary layer wind tunnel

Publications and papers published

Oral communications


Thanks to this WEAMEC FLOATEOLE project, the European project H2020-MSCA-ITN FLOAWER (FLOAting Wind Energy netwoRk) was built, deposited and selected by Europe in May 2019.

The European project H2020-MSCA-ITN FLOAWER (FLOAting Wind Energy netwoRk) will start on November 2019. It is composed of 10 beneficiaries and 11 academic and industrial associate partners. Centrale Nantes will coordinate the project. FLOAWER will provide 13 Early Stage Researchers (ESR) with an interdisciplinary training with the aim to design better performing, economically viable floating wind turbines