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Second tank test campaign for the FLOATECH project

FLOATECH is back at the LHEEA's wave and ocean engineering tank for a second test campaign. The teams involved continue to study the hydrodynamic forces that impact a floating wind turbine in order to improve its performance.


Ecole Centrale de Nantes, through the LHEEA, is heavily involved in Work Package 3 "Feed forward wave-based control" and conduct several test campaigns in its tanks. This part of the project focuses on the development and validation of two innovative control techniques, in order to predict waves and anticipate the hydrodynamic forces that will impact the floating wind turbine. These techniques should help reduce fluctuations in the power produced by floating wind turbines and optimise their production.


Two tank test campaigns already carried out


The first campaign, conducted the Hydrodynamic and Ocean Engineering Tank in January 2022, aimed to create a database of typical sea states in the West of Scotland [1] as if they were measured by a radar installed on the turbine. This was done on a wave-only basis, without a model, by measuring the incident wave fields generated by the wave beater using an array of wave probes. This database was then used by Inchul Kim, a post-doc fellow on the FLOATECH project, to predict the waves impacting the wind turbine and the resulting hydrodynamic forces.


During the new test campaign, carried out in January 2023, the floating wind turbine developed as part of the WEAMEC SoftWind project at Centrale Nantes (see V. Arnal, 2020) was installed in the tank and put into operation. This prototype wind turbine is based on the DTU 10 MW model which was installed on a spar platform. The turbine is equipped with an aerodynamic force actuator (with several thrusters) in a software-in-the-loop approach. The sea states used in this campaign were inspired by the West of Barra site off the coast of Scotland, as described in the Life50+ project [2]. Over 50 irregular wave outputs were generated in the tank, totalling 100 hours of full-scale measurements, including extreme and multi-directional wave conditions which are therefore representative of real sea conditions.


Watch footage of the tests


The experimental device was also used in December 2023 to train Centrale Nantes engineering students in sea-stability studies as part of their practical work.


A third test campaign is planned for May 2023 using the same wind turbine, including wave-based control and aerodynamic force actuators, this time ranging from 1 component (turbine) to 6 components, to better represent the aerodynamic loads on the wind turbine in operating conditions.


References

[1] - Bonnefoy, F., Delacroix, S., Ducrozet, G., Kim, I.-C., & Leroy, V. (2023). FLOATECH WP3 Experimental Wave Database [Data set]. Zenodo. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.7689780

[2] - LIFES50+ H2020 Grant agreement 640741 (2015) Deliverable 1.1 Oceanographic and meteorological conditions for the design

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