This work was carried out within the framework of the HeLoFOW Project : The HeloFOW project aims to develop a hydro-elastic solver for the calculation of structural loadings of floating wind turbine foundations.
This project is a WEAMEC project with the funding from the Pays de la Loire Region and and Europe (European Regional Development Fund).
This paper examines the hydroelastic response of a monopile structure, supporting an offshore wind turbine. A new numerical simulation tool is presented, coupling a nonlinear potential flow solver to a structural model based on modal superposition. The hydrodynamic solver is based on the Weak-Scatterer (WS) approach and assumes small perturbations of the incident flow. A finite element method (FEM) solver is used to compute the modal parameters, which are then superposed to compute the dynamics of the system in time domain. Small deformations are assumed in the coupling. The two theories are tightly coupled in time domain. The theory of the coupling is fully described in the paper. The new coupled solver WS_CN-FEM is then applied to the case of a large diameter monopile. Results are compared to simulations using the Morison equation to compute the hydrodynamic loads and a beam element FEM model to compute the response of the structure and to experimental measurements made on a monopile-based offshore wind turbine model. The physical model has Froude-scaled geometry and natural frequencies, which allows an accurate validation of the hydroelastic numerical models including realistic flexible modes of the structure and wave–structure interaction. The results of WS_CN-FEM show a good agreement with the experimental measurements, and in particular on the first and second mudline bending moments’ harmonics in a series of regular waves of various wave steepness.