Special Section Articles

A Review of Floating Platform Concepts for Offshore Wind Energy Generation

[+] Author and Article Information
K. P. Thiagarajan

The University of Maine,
Orono, ME 04469
e-mail: krish.thiagarajan@maine.edu

H. J. Dagher

The University of Maine,
Orono, ME 04469

The DeepCwind consortium membership includes two universities, two nonprofits, three leading companies with floating wind platform experience, three wind turbine manufacturers, two utilities to connect the output to the grid, a wide range of industry members including leaders in offshore design, leaders in offshore construction, leaders in marine structures manufacturing, a firm with extensive wind project siting experience, a firm with wind project environmental analysis experience, a firm with wind project environmental law experience, composites materials firms to assist in corrosion-resistant material design and selection, and a leading energy investment firm.

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Ocean, Offshore, and Arctic Engineering Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF OFFSHORE MECHANICS AND ARCTIC ENGINEERING. Manuscript received January 18, 2013; final manuscript received January 14, 2014; published online March 24, 2014. Assoc. Editor: Charles E. Smith.

J. Offshore Mech. Arct. Eng 136(2), 020903 (Mar 24, 2014) (6 pages) Paper No: OMAE-13-1010; doi: 10.1115/1.4026607 History: Received January 18, 2013; Revised January 14, 2014

Literature relating to offshore wind energy generation is produced at a significant rate as research efforts are diverted to the emerging area of future clean energy. This paper presents an overview of recent research in the specific area of floating offshore structure design for wind energy. Earlier literature has broadly grouped these platforms into three categories based on their source of stability: (1) ballast stabilized (low center of gravity), e.g., spar, (2) mooring stabilized, e.g., tension leg platform, and (3) buoyancy or water-plane stabilized, e.g., semisubmersible. These concepts were modifications of similar structures used in the offshore oil and gas industry. Recent papers have presented further improvements to these designs, including active ballasting and control systems. These are examined for stability and global performance behavior and ease of operability and maintenance. The paper also attempts to examine efforts to bring such concepts to fruition. This paper sets the stage for other papers in the Special Session on University of Maine/DeepCWind Consortium within the Offshore Renewable Energy Symposium at OMAE 2012, which are archived in the special section of the Journal of Offshore Mechanics and Arctic Engineering.

Copyright © 2014 by ASME
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Fig. 1

Zones showing different wind categories offshore of Maine [1]

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Fig. 3

(a) Stability triangle with annotation of common offshore wind concepts following Ref. [7] and (b) Venn diagram showing sources of stability and generic offshore wind structures

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Fig. 4

Hywind demonstration project during installation (photo: Jarle Vines (Creative Commons Attribution Sharealike 3.0))

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Fig. 5

Submerged deepwater platform concept of Blue H [22]

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Fig. 6

Tension leg turbine platform (TLTP) concept [23]

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Fig. 7

Windfloat during tow [24]




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