A Novel Perspective
Offshore wind energy is playing an increasingly significant role in meeting worldwide energy demand. In these circumstances, the development of floating offshore wind turbines (FOWTs) represents a new challenge for both academia and industry. However, the potential for deep-water multi-megawatt installations and use of strong wind resources make these challenges attractive. In the last decade sophisticated numerical codes have been developed to compute the coupled aerodynamics and hydrodynamics of FOWTs. The complexity of such codes, as well as the limited availability of full-scale data, brings about the need for experimental campaigns and, more specifically, scale tests for validation. Recently tests of FOWTs were performed in various water basins. In this article a complementary approach to test scale models of FOWTs is presented: in particular, the design of a six degrees-of-freedom (DoF) robot, ‘HexaFloat’, capable of reproducing the floating motion of a scale FOWT for wind tunnel experiments.
By Ilmas Bayati and Marco Belloli, Politecnico di Milano, Dipartimento di Meccanica, Milan, Italy
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