Current state of the art of floating wind turbine design and simulation

Laurens Alblas, Product Manager Offshore Renewables
There is a growing interest in floating wind turbine design in the industry. Many concepts are in the research and development phase, some have reached full scale deployment, and the first commercial floating wind farms are now operating. Floating wind has certain benefits compared to fixed offshore wind, such as the possibility to deploy further from shore and in deeper waters where the wind resources may be more favourable. This presentation gives an overview of the current state of the art for design of floating wind turbines, with special attention on coupled simulation, and the design and strength assessment of the floater. Typical design project structures for fixed and floating wind are compared. Relative to fixed offshore wind projects, floating wind projects involve more parties and are more complex, resulting in additional design, simulation and collaboration challenges. Due to their different areas of focus, parties involved in floating wind projects use different tools with various limitations. This can lead to inconsistent design assumptions and a sub-optimal design or design process. With many concepts, parties and tools involved, no common design workflows exist yet for floating wind design. An overview is given of known design workflows for floating wind turbines used in industry. The strengths and weakness of the different approaches are discussed. The required simulation innovations to allow faster and more optimised design processes are presented.