Numerical study of floating wind turbines: hydro- and aero-mechanics
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Floating wind technology has the potential to produce low-carbon electricity on a large scale: it allows the expansion of o shore wind harvesting to deep water, indicatively from 50-60 to a few hundred metres depth, where most of the worldwide technical resource is found. New design specifi cations are being developed for floating wind in order to meet diverse criteria such as conversion effi ciency, maintainability, buoyancy stability, and structural reliability. The last is the focus of this work. The mechanics of floating wind turbines in wind and waves are investigated with an array of numerical means. They demand the simulation of multiple processes such as aerodynamics, hydrodynamics, rotor and structural dynamics; understanding their interaction is essential for engineering design, verifi cation, and concept evaluation. The project is organised in three main parts, presented below. Aero-hydro-mechanical simulation, characterising the rigid-body motions of a floating wind turbine. An investigation of multi-physical couplings is carried out, mainly through EDF R&D's time-domain simulator CALHYPSO. Wave forces are represented with the potential- ow panel method and the Morison equation. Aerodynamic forces are represented by a thrust model or with the blade element momentum theory. Main fi ndings: Exposure of fi nite-angle coupling for semi-submersible turbines with focus on heave plate excursion; characterisation of the aerodynamic damping of pitch motion provided by an operating vertical-axis turbine. Dynamic mooring simulation, focussed on highly compliant mooring systems, where the fluid-structure interaction and mechanical inertial forces can govern line tension. EDF R&D's general-purpose, finite-element solver Code Aster is confi gured for this use exploiting its nonlinear large-displacement and contact mechanics functionalities. Main findings: Demonstration of a Code Aster-based work ow for the analysis of catenary mooring systems; explanation of the dynamic mooring eff ects previously observed in the DeepCwind basin test campaign. Aeroelastic analysis of vertical-axis rotors, aimed at verifying novel large-scale floating wind turbine concepts in operation, when aeroelastic-rotordynamic instabilities may occur. The finite-element modal approach is used to qualify rotor vibrations and to estimate the associated damping, based on the spinning beam formulation and a linearised aerodynamic operator. Main fi ndings: Characterisation of the vibration modes of two novel vertical-axis rotor concepts using the Campbell diagram; estimation of the related aerodynamic damping, providing information on the aeroelastic stability of these designs.