DNV explores wake steering effects on floating wind

UK-US consortium aims to reduce the LCoE of the technology using MPS’ WindSub platform [Image: Marine Power Systems]

DNV is leading a research project to explore the effects of wake steering on floating offshore wind farms.

Innovate UK in cooperation with the US National Offshore Wind Research & Development Consortium (NOWRDC) is funding the research.

The research project, which runs to March 2023, aims to reduce the levelised cost of energy (LCoE) of floating wind by investigating the effects of using wake steering, a wind farm control (WFC) strategy, on floating wind farms.
In the UK, DNV, Durham University and Marine Power Systems will combine expertise on wind resource, wake modelling, wind farm control, floating platform design and economic modelling in the research project CONFLOWS (CONtrol of FLOating wind farms with Wake Steering).

The US project team, led by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), in partnership with Cornell University and Equinor, will focus on specific regions of North America with potential for offshore wind and will perform optimisation studies using wind farm control.

The economic analysis undertaken will give an industry-first comprehensive overview of the effects of the use of wake steering techniques in offshore floating wind farms and whether they can have a positive impact on the project costs.

The consortium will share data and knowledge beneficial for the modelling of site-specific meteorological conditions and complex wind farm wake scenarios due to wind farm control applications, to advance the offshore wind industry as a whole.

A strategy known as wake steering attempts to deflect each turbine’s wake away from downstream turbines, allowing increased overall power production, and longer lifetime of the turbine through reduced fatigue damage.

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DNV group research and development director Pierre Sames said: “As the floating offshore wind sector develops, we need research to understand whether technology proven for onshore wind farms can deliver similar impacts on improving energy production of offshore floating wind farms.”

Marine Power Systems (MPS) will lead on the sizing of its WindSub floating platform to support the reference NREL 15MW horizontal axis turbine and will manage the modelling of the complete system using OrcaFlex software.

The floating foundation uses a tensioned mooring that provides a more stable platform against which control forces can be applied and resists twist compared to catenary moored platforms.

Graham Foster, chief technical officer at MPS, said: “This technology could be more suitable to support wake steering for optimising the wind farm output.”

DNV will continue the development of LongSim, a dynamic wind farm simulator wind farm control applications.

Durham University will lead efforts in developing steady-state wake steering models and calibrating them against high-fidelity data.

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