Special Section Articles

Methodology for Wind/Wave Basin Testing of Floating Offshore Wind Turbines

[+] Author and Article Information
Heather R. Martin

Kleinschmidt Associates,
141 Main Street,
Pittsfield, ME 04967

Richard W. Kimball

Maine Maritime Academy,
54 Pleasant Street,
Castine, ME 04420

Anthony M. Viselli

Advanced Structures and Composites Center,
University of Maine,
35 Flagstaff Road,
Orono, ME 04469

Andrew J. Goupee

Advanced Structures and Composites Center,
University of Maine,
35 Flagstaff Road,
Orono, ME 04469
e-mail: agoupe91@maine.edu

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 2, 2013; final manuscript received May 6, 2013; published online March 24, 2014. Assoc. Editor: Krish Thiagarajan.

J. Offshore Mech. Arct. Eng 136(2), 020905 (Mar 24, 2014) (9 pages) Paper No: OMAE-13-1001; doi: 10.1115/1.4025030 History: Received January 02, 2013; Revised May 06, 2013

Scale-model wave basin testing is often employed in the development and validation of large-scale offshore vessels and structures by the oil and gas, military, and marine industries. A basin-model test requires less time, resources, and risk than a full-scale test, while providing real and accurate data for numerical simulator validation. As the development of floating wind turbine technology progresses in order to capture the vast deep-water wind energy resource, it is clear that model testing will be essential for the economical and efficient advancement of this technology. However, the scale model testing of floating wind turbines requires accurate simulation of the wind and wave environments, structural flexibility, and wind turbine aerodynamics and thus requires a comprehensive scaling methodology. This paper presents a unified methodology for Froude scale model testing of floating wind turbines under combined wind and wave loading. First, an overview of the scaling relationships employed for the environment, floater, and wind turbine are presented. Afterward, a discussion is presented concerning suggested methods for manufacturing a high-quality, low-turbulence Froude scale wind environment in a wave basin to facilitate simultaneous application of wind and waves to the model. Subsequently, the difficulties of scaling the highly Reynolds number–dependent wind turbine aerodynamics is presented in addition to methods for tailoring the turbine and wind characteristics to best emulate the full-scale condition. Lastly, the scaling methodology is demonstrated using results from 1/50th-scale floating wind turbine testing performed at the Maritime Research Institute Netherlands (MARIN) Offshore Basin. The model test campaign investigated the response of the 126 -m rotor diameter National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) horizontal axis wind turbine atop three floating platforms: a tension-leg platform, a spar-buoy, and a semisubmersible. The results highlight the methodology's strengths and weaknesses for simulating full-scale global response of floating wind turbine systems.

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Fig. 1

Lightweight 1/50th-scale carbon fiber epoxy composite model wind turbine blade

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Fig. 2

1/50th-scale model NREL 5-MW Reference Wind Turbine mounted to a semisubmersible floating platform

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Fig. 3

Exploded view of wind generation machine for floating wind turbine wind/wave basin experiments showing, from left to right, a fan bank, screens, and a contracting nozzle

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Fig. 4

Comparison of ideal prototype rotor aerodynamic performance and realized model rotor aerodynamic performance

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Fig. 5

Generic wind turbine airfoil force diagram

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Fig. 6

Lift and drag curve coefficients for the NACA 64-618 airfoil at prototype and model Reynolds numbers of 11.5 × 106 and 35.7 × 103, respectively

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Fig. 7

Comparison of floating semisubmersible wind turbine pitch motion response for the same sea state with and without an operating wind turbine

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Fig. 8

Damping ratio as a function of amplitude for the floating semisubmersible wind turbine from model tests and simulations

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Fig. 9

Comparison of numerical model and measured test performance data for the model wind turbine

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Fig. 10

Image of a roughened leading edge of a model wind turbine blade

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Fig. 11

Comparison of model wind turbine performance with and without roughness on the wind blade leading edge

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Fig. 12

Drela AG04 low Reynolds number airfoil

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Fig. 13

Lift and drag coefficients of the NACA 64-618 airfoil under high and low Reynolds number conditions and of the Drela AG04 airfoil under low Reynolds number conditions

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Fig. 14

Power and thrust coefficient curves for the prototype, original model, and redesigned model rotor



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