Smart Cities / Smart Grids


WINFLOAT: Monitoring and Structural Control of Floating Offshore Wind Turbines

Development of control structures to mitigate the dynamic load on floating windmills installed at sea. Because of the varying conditions of wind and waves, the stability of the windmills is essential to ensure proper operation.

Offshore wind energy is one of the fastest growing clean and renewable energy sources in the world. In deep waters, wind farms are less sensitive to the space availability, noise restriction and visual pollution, among others. Moreover, the wind power generation is more effective due to that floating offshore wind farms are exposed to a much stronger and steadier wind field. The floating support platforms provide with an effective solution to the installation of offshore wind turbines in deep water. For designing the floating wind farms, the existing technology and experience of offshore gas and petroleum industry are directly applicable. Thus, if technology and infrastructure are fully developed, floating offshore wind farms are expected to produce huge amount of clean electricity at a competitive price compared to other energy sources. However, floating offshore wind farms may have some disadvantages: more transmission loss, more complex blade control due to body motions, larger inertia loading on tall tower caused by greater floater accelerations and possibly more expensive/complicated installation processes including mooring lines. Also, since floating wind turbines are directly exposed to the open ocean without any natural protection, they may have to endure harsher environments. For floating support platforms, a big challenge will be in damping the roll motions, which are translations of the rotor in the plane of rotation. Especially, in contrast to the fixed offshore wind turbines, control systems should be used to limit the responses of the floating wind turbine and floater platform to the stochastic wave loading. A major difficulty in the control of floating offshore wind turbine is the presence of the aerodynamic loads (wind turbulence) and hydrodynamic loads (wave current), which are generally stochastic ones.

In this research, monitoring techniques will be applied for the fault detection and localization in offshore wind turbines. Advanced control strategies will be used for reducing the dynamic load responses of a floating offshore wind turbine taking into account the rotor dynamics, aero-dynamics, tower elasticity, floater dynamics and mooring line dynamics, and new smart control techniques will be developed for guaranteeing the stability and reliability of the floating wind turbine assembly so as to extend its fatigue life.


Start: 01/01/2012

End: 31/12/2014

Funder: MITYC

Grant: € 12,100

IIiA Coordinator: Ningsu Luo