Discover the people behind FLOATECH in our interview series!
Meet Alessandro Bianchini from the Università degli Studi di Firenze (UNIFI) with five questions and answers about the project and his role within it.
Could you present your organization and its tasks within FLOATECH?
Università degli Studi di Firenze (UNIFI) participates to FLOATECH through the Wind Energy Group of the Department of Industrial Engineering, which I have the privilege to lead. The group is active in many research fields related to wind energy, but particularly on multi-fidelity simulation methods for design and simulation of wind turbines. The expertise in this field also represents the main contribution of the group within FLOATECH, where UNIFI leads Work Package 2 dealing with the quantification of uncertainty reduction gained through the new software QBlade-Ocean.
Why did you decide to take part in the FLOATECH project?
In fact, the core idea of FLOATECH was born during a dinner in Berlin with the friends of TU Berlin, with whom a long-lasting research partnership is in place for years. Building upon this idea, we have contacted other partners and started discussing with them. I must say that, in my opinion, the best value of FLOATECH is that – from the very beginning – a real group of colleagues was created, with a friendly atmosphere but above all with a strong joint commitment towards this research.
What is your role in FLOATECH?
Within FLOATECH, I have the pleasure to be the scientist in charge for my institution, to be part of the Executive Committee and to be responsible for WP2. This Work Package deals with the quantification of uncertainty reduction gained through the new software QBlade-Ocean in comparison to other state-of-the-art pieces of software (both open-source and commercial) and including different study cases of floating offshore wind turbines (both at scale or scaled in wave-tank experiments) and Design Load Cases.
According to you, what are the most promising outcomes?
I truly believe that FLOATECH could represent a milestone for a significant development of floating offshore wind. The open-access nature of QBlade-Ocean will make it available to a vast community, ranging from academia to industrial developers, who will benefit from a versatile tool, with improved accuracy compared to existing ones. Moreover, the two innovative control techniques to be developed for both individual turbines and wind farms have the potential to represent a breakthrough for Floating Offshore Wind Turbine (FOWT) technology.
What do you expect for the future of the project?
It could seem strange, but the first expectation about FLOATECH is to be able to finally meet the partners in person, since the pandemics hampered so far, any face-to-face discussion. Beyond jokes, I would be really happy if the results of the project could have a direct application in FOWT industry, which in my opinion has the potential of becoming a backbone of the future EU energy mix, also in areas like my beloved Mediterranean Sea.