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Abstract: Floating offshore wind is an emerging technology which presents a promising opportunity to aid migration towards a more sustainable energy system. As with any novel design, floating offshore wind turbines (FOWTs) still require rigorous testing to develop a better understanding of behaviour and optimize proposed solutions. Numerical simulations have few constraints and can produce high-fidelity results, but scaled models maintain great value through providing a cost and time-effective testing method which can accurately emulate all behaviour. For scaled modelling of floating offshore wind turbines however, a unique problem arises due to the dual-phase nature of the marine environment. To accurately model hydrodynamic loads, the Froude number must be maintained, while for aerodynamic loads, the Reynolds number must also be conserved. Contradictions when fulfilling these two parameters mean that traditional scaled modelling cannot be used to produce a model that is physically valid in both mediums.

This talk will focus on research around a new modelling paradigm to the field of offshore wind engineering, Real-Time Hybrid Testing (RTHT), which offers a state-of-the-art solution in solving this dual-phase scaling problem. In this method, the model is decomposed into two subsystems – one of which is modelled physically and the other numerically, allowing for non-unform scaling of the two parts. The two models are run simultaneously, and information is passed between them in real-time to create a two-way coupling, with behaviour in one subsystem influencing that of the other. This investigation looks to develop a new hardware-in-the-loop RTHT approach, capable of effectively modelling a floating body in a physical subsystem subjected to both hydrodynamic and virtual loads by actuating body motion.


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