03 Mar 2023
 | 03 Mar 2023
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal WES.

OF2: coupling OpenFAST and OpenFOAM for high fidelity aero-hydro-servo-elastic FOWT simulations

Guillén Campaña-Alonso, Raquel Martin-San-Román, Beatriz Méndez-López, Pablo Benito-Cia, and José Azcona-Armendáriz

Abstract. The numerical study of floating offshore wind turbines requires accurate integrated simulations, considering aerodynamics, hydrodynamics, servo and elastic response of these systems. In addition, the floating system dynamics couplings need to be included to calculate precisely the excitation over the ensemble. In this paper, a new tool has been developed coupling the NREL´s aero-servo-elastic tool OpenFAST with the Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) toolbox OpenFOAM. OpenFAST is used to model the rotor aerodynamics alongside with the flexible response of the different components of the wind turbine and the controller at each time step considering the dynamic response of the platform. OpenFOAM is used to simulate the hydrodynamics and the platform's response considering the loads from the wind turbine. The whole simulation environment is called OF2 (OpenFOAM & OpenFAST). The OC4 DeepCWind semi-submersible FOWT together with the NREL´s 5MW wind turbine has been simulated using OF2 under two load cases. The purpose of coupling these tools to simulate FOWT is to obtain high-fidelity results for design purposes reducing the computational time compared with the use of CFD simulations both for the rotor aerodynamics, that usually consider rigid blades, and the platform's hydrodynamics. The OF2 approach allows also to include the aero-servo-elastic couplings that exist on the wind turbine alongside with the hydrodynamic system resolved by CFD. High complexity situations of floating offshore wind turbines, like storms, yaw drifts, weather-vane, or mooring line breaks, that implies high displacements and rotations of the floating platform or relevant non-linear effects can be resolved using OF2, overcoming the limitation of many state of the art potential hydrodynamic codes that assume small displacements of the platform. In addition, all the necessary information for the FOWT calculation and design processes can be obtained simultaneously, such as the pressure distribution at the platform components and the loads at the tower base, fairleads tension, etc. Moreover, the effect of turbulent winds and/or elastic blades could be taken in account to resolve load cases from the design and certification standards.

Guillén Campaña-Alonso et al.

Status: open (until 31 Mar 2023)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on wes-2023-19', Anonymous Referee #1, 11 Mar 2023 reply
  • RC2: 'Comment on wes-2023-19', Anonymous Referee #2, 18 Mar 2023 reply

Guillén Campaña-Alonso et al.

Guillén Campaña-Alonso et al.


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Short summary
Wind energy is one of the pillars to accomplish the future objectives stablished by the governments with regard to the reduction of emissions of CO2 expected by 2050. Wind energy usage increase will be only possible if more efficient and durable wind turbines are designed. In addition, such increase in wind energy installation worldwide will be only achieved if floating wind turbines design is mature enough. With this purpose a new tool to design and optimize floating wind turbines is presented.