Extreme Loading on FOWT under Complex Environmental Conditions

Lead Research Organisation: City, University of London
Department Name: Sch of Engineering and Mathematical Sci


The offshore wind industry has experienced significant growth in recent years, and continues to expand both in the UK and worldwide. Most of the offshore wind turbines installed to date are located in relatively shallow water and are mounted on fixed bottom support structures. Given the limitation of suitable shallow water sites available with high wind resources and also to reduce the environmental and visual impact of turbines, it is necessary to extend wind turbines to deeper water through the development of floating offshore wind turbine (FOWT) systems, which mount wind turbines on floating support platforms.

The project aims to fill an important gap in the design, manufacturing and testing of emerging FOWT techniques by specifically characterising extreme loading on FOWTs under complex and harsh marine environments. These are typically represented by storm conditions consisting of strong wind, extreme waves, significant current, rising sea level and complex interplay between these elements, through a coordinated campaign of both advanced CFD modelling and physical wave tank tests. This has direct relevance to the current and planned activities in the UK to develop this new technology in offshore wind.

In addition, the project aims to develop a suite of hierarchical numerical models that can be applied routinely for both fast and detailed analysis of the specific flow problem of environmental (wind, wave, current) loading and dynamic responses of FOWTs under realistic storm conditions. As an integral part of the project, a new experimental programme will be devised and conducted in the COAST laboratory at the University of Plymouth, providing improved understanding of the underlying physics and for validating the numerical models. Towards the end of the project, fully documented CFD software and experimental data sets will be released to relevant industrial users and into the Public Domain, so that they may be used to aid the design of future support structures of FOWTs and to secure their survivability with an extended envelope of safe operation for maximum power output.


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Description (1) Develop a two-way hybrid qaleFOAM coupling the QALE-FEM with OpenFOAM;
(2) Develop a new domain decomposition method, allowing the OpenFOAM domain moves following the motion of the floating body in the QALE-FEM domain;
(3) Preliminarily test the qaleFOAM for modelling FOWT in extreme waves.
Exploitation Route The developed code is now available for public in the CCP-WSI code repository listed above.

Journal paper is being prepared and will be published in the near future.
Sectors Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Energy

URL https://www.ccp-wsi.ac.uk/
Title hybrid model qaleFOAM coupling the QALE-FEM with OpenFOAM 
Description A new development of the hybrid model, qaleFOAM, has been completed for coupling the aero- and hydro-dynamics of the FOWT in extreme waves 
Type Of Material Computer model/algorithm 
Year Produced 2020 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact The model has been proven to be one of the most robust model for numerical simulating the wave-structure interaction by recent comparative studies and blind tests. 
URL https://www.ccp-wsi.ac.uk/code_repository