28 Feb 2023
 | 28 Feb 2023
Status: a revised version of this preprint was accepted for the journal WES.

A New Methodology for Upscaling Semi-submersible Platforms for Floating Offshore Wind Turbines

Kaylie Laura Roach, Matthew A. Lackner, and James F. Manwell

Abstract. This paper presents a new upscaling methodology for floating offshore wind turbine platforms. The size and power rating of offshore wind turbines have been growing in recent years, with modern wind turbines rated at 10–14 MW in contrast with 2–5 MW in 2010. It is not apparent how much further wind turbines can be increased before it is unjustified. Scaling relations are a useful method for analyzing wind turbine designs, to understand the mass, load, and cost increases with size. Scaling relations currently do not exist but are needed for floating offshore platforms to understand how the technical and economic development of floating offshore wind energy may develop with increasing turbine size. In this paper, a hydrodynamic model has been developed to capture the key platform response in pitch. The hydrodynamic model is validated using OpenFAST, a high-fidelity offshore wind turbine simulation software. An upscaling methodology is then applied to two semi-submersible case studies, in which the platform pitch angle at rated wind turbine thrust is constrained to a specified value. The results show that platform dimensions scale to a factor of 0.75, and the platform steel mass scales to a factor of 1.5 when the wall thickness is kept constant. This study is the first to develop generalized upscaling relations that can be used for other semi-submersible platforms, in contrast with other studies that upscale a specific design to a larger power rating. This upscaling methodology provides new insight into trends for semi-submersible platform upscaling as turbine size increases.

Kaylie Laura Roach et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on wes-2023-18', Anonymous Referee #1, 16 Mar 2023
  • RC2: 'Comment on wes-2023-18', Anonymous Referee #2, 26 Apr 2023
  • AC1: 'Author Comment on wes-2023-18', Kaylie Roach, 24 May 2023

Kaylie Laura Roach et al.

Kaylie Laura Roach et al.


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Short summary
This paper presents an upscaling methodology for floating offshore wind turbine platforms using two case studies. The offshore wind turbine industry is trending towards fewer, larger offshore wind turbines within a farm, which is motivated by the per unit cost of a wind farm (including installation, interconnection, and maintenance costs). The results show the platform steel mass to be favorable with upscaling.