To test numerical models of the OC5-DeepCwind system, researchers used measurement data from a 1/50th-scale test campaign performed at the Marine Research Institute Netherlands offshore wave basin. Model validation assessments compared the ultimate and fatigue loads that were predicted by the modeling tools against the measured data for eight different wave-only and combined wind-and-wave test cases. The measured data included aerodynamics and hydrodynamics loading for fixed-bottom systems and mooring loads for floating systems at both model-scale tank testing and fullscale open-ocean testing.
With the involvement of so many industry partners, we are able to directly affect the knowledge and capabilities used throughout the industry.
The project involved participants from across the offshore wind industry field, including offshore wind designers, consultants, certifiers, developers, and research institutions. Results indicated that industry design tools adequately estimate the tower and mooring loads in the structure, but with a consistent underestimation for this system, which will require further investigation.
“Validated modeling tools can be used to develop optimized designs to reduce costs,” said NREL project lead Amy Robertson. “With the involvement of so many industry partners, we are able to directly affect the knowledge and capabilities used throughout the industry.”
Validation campaigns help to assess the accuracy of the offshore wind system modeling tools, provide a better understanding of the uncertainties in those tools, and identify areas for improvement—and are essential for reaching commercial maturity for offshore wind technologies. Validated modeling tools can then be used to develop optimized designs to meet the U.S. Department of Energy's goal of reducing the cost of offshore wind.