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Improved analysis models for bottom-fixed offshore wind turbines

As an R&D partner in NOWITECH (Norwegian Research Centre for Offshore Wind Technology), SINTEF Ocean have been actively involved in developing robust numerical tools for the design and modelling of bottom-fixed offshore wind turbines.

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NOWITECH is a research center for sustainable energy committed to develop and promote offshore wind energy, and is funded by The Research Council of Norway and the industry.

Two Finite-Element based software tools, SIMO-RIFLEX and NIRWANA, have been further developed to perform the coupled-nonlinear (hydro-servo-aero-elastic) and decoupled-linear (hydro-elastic) analyses of offshore wind turbines. A verification study to compare the coupled-nonlinear and decoupled-linear modelling will be presented at the OMAE conference in San Francisco in June 2014. The effects of wind-wave-current interaction, multiple soil layers and scour hole around the wind turbine foundations are considered.

The developed software tools allow users to perform eigen-frequency, static and dynamic analyses of offshore wind turbines for both operational and extreme environmental conditions. The numerical results can be used to evaluate the structural design and to optimize the support structures. An optimal support structure, both in terms of cost of production and reliability / performance in use are important factors in order to bring down the cost of electricity generated from offshore wind turbines. The analysis functionality that has been developed will be made available through SIMA (Simulation Workbench for Marine Applications), marketed and sold through DNV-GL Software.

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