Characterization of the unsteady aerodynamics of offshore floating wind turbines
Article first published online: 19 MAR 2012
Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Volume 16, Issue 3, pages 339–352, April 2013
How to Cite
Sebastian, T. and Lackner, M.A. (2013), Characterization of the unsteady aerodynamics of offshore floating wind turbines. Wind Energ., 16: 339–352. doi: 10.1002/we.545
- Issue published online: 16 APR 2013
- Article first published online: 19 MAR 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 10 NOV 2011
- Manuscript Revised: 15 SEP 2011
- Manuscript Received: 3 FEB 2011
- floating wind turbine;
- vortex ring state;
- unsteady aerodynamics;
- reduced frequency;
Large-scale offshore floating wind turbines were first proposed in 1972 by Prof. William E. Heronemus at the University of Massachusetts. Since then, very little progress has been made in the deployment of these systems despite the significant advantages afforded by floating wind turbines, namely access to superior wind resources and increased placement flexibility. Aside from the large capital costs associated with construction, one of the most significant challenges facing offshore floating wind turbines is a limited simulation and load estimation capability. Many wind turbine aerodynamic analysis methods rely on assumptions that may not be applicable to the highly dynamic environment in which floating wind turbines are expected to operate. This study characterizes the unique operating conditions that make aerodynamic analysis of offshore floating wind turbines a challenge. Conditions that may result in unsteady flow are identified, and a method to identify aerodynamically relevant platform modes is presented. Operating conditions that may result in a breakdown of the momentum balance equations are also identified for different platform configurations. It is shown that offshore floating wind turbines are subjected to significant aerodynamic unsteadiness fixed-bottom offshore turbines. Aerodynamic analysis of offshore floating wind turbines may require the use of higher-fidelity ‘engineering-level’ models than commonly in use today. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.