08 Apr 2022
08 Apr 2022
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal WES.

Wind tunnel investigation of the aerodynamic response of two 15 MW floating wind turbines

Alessandro Fontanella, Alan Facchinetti, Simone Di Carlo, and Marco Belloli Alessandro Fontanella et al.
  • Mechanical Engineering Department, Politecnico di Milano, Milano, Via La Masa 1, 20156, Italy

Abstract. The aerodynamics of floating turbines is complicated by large motions which are permitted by the floating foundation, and the interaction between turbine, wind and wake is not yet fully understood. The object of this paper is a wind tunnel campaign finalized at characterizing the aerodynamic response of a 1:100 scale model of the IEA 15 MW subjected to imposed platform motion. The turbine aerodynamic response is studied focusing on thrust force, torque and wake at 2.3D downwind the rotor. Harmonic motion is imposed in the surge, sway, roll, pitch and yaw directions with several frequencies and amplitudes, which are selected to be representative of the two 15 MW floating turbines developed within the COREWIND project. Thrust and torque show large-amplitude oscillations with surge and pitch motion, which main effect is an apparent wind speed; oscillations in thrust and torque are negligible with the other motions, which main effect is to alter the wind direction. The thrust and torque response measured in the experiment is compared with predictions of a quasi-steady model, often used for control-related tasks. The agreement is good in case of low-frequency surge motion, but some differences are seen in the pitch case. The quasi-steady model is not predictive for the response to wave-frequency motion, where blade unsteadiness may take place. Wake was measured imposing motion in five directions with frequency equal to the wave-peak frequency. The axial speed is slightly lower with motion compared to the fixed case. The turbulence kinetic energy is slightly lower too. Wave-frequency motion seems to produce a more stable and lower flow mixing.

Alessandro Fontanella et al.

Status: open (until 20 May 2022)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on wes-2022-36', Anonymous Referee #1, 03 May 2022 reply
  • RC2: 'Comment on wes-2022-36', Anonymous Referee #2, 05 May 2022 reply

Alessandro Fontanella et al.

Alessandro Fontanella et al.


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Short summary
The aerodynamics of floating turbines is complicated by large motions permitted by the floating foundation. The interaction between turbine, wind and wake is not yet fully understood. The wind tunnel experiments of this paper sheds light on the aerodynamic-force and wake response of the floating IEA 15 MW turbine subjected to platform motion as would occur during normal operation, with consequences for turbine and wind farm control.