An experimental study on the aerodynamic loads of a floating offshore wind turbine under imposed motions

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Abstract

The rotor of a floating wind turbine is subject to complex aerodynamics due to changes in relative wind speeds at the blades and potential local interactions between blade sections and the rotor near wake. These complex interactions are not yet fully understood. Lab-scale experiments are highly relevant for capturing these phenomena and provide means for the validation of numerical design tools. This paper presents a new wind tunnel experimental setup able to study the aerodynamic response of a wind turbine rotor when subjected to prescribed motions. The present study uses a 1:148 scale model of the DTU 10 MW reference wind turbine mounted on top of a 6 degrees of freedom parallel kinematic robotic platform. Firstly, the thrust variation of the turbine is investigated when single degree of freedom harmonic motions are imposed by the platform, with surge, pitch and yaw being considered in this study. For reduced frequencies greater than 1.2, it is found that the thrust variation is amplified by up to 150 % compared to the quasi-steady value when the turbine is subject to pitch and surge motions, regardless of the amplitude of motion. A similar behaviour is also noticed under yaw motions. Secondly, realistic 6 degrees of freedom motions are imposed by the platform. The motions are derived from FAST simulations performed on the full-scale turbine coupled with the TripleSpar floater, and the tests aim at exploring the thrust force dynamics for different sea states and wind conditions, obtaining reasonable agreement with the simulations. Finally, the work shows the capabilities of an off-the-shelf hexapod to conduct hybrid testing of floating offshore wind turbines in wind tunnels, as well as its limitations in performing such tests.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)343–358
Number of pages16
JournalWind Energy Science
Volume9
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2024

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