Journal of Marine Science and Application

, Volume 18, Issue 1, pp 82–92 | Cite as

Numerical Analysis of a Floating Offshore Wind Turbine by Coupled Aero-Hydrodynamic Simulation

  • Yang Huang
  • Ping Cheng
  • Decheng WanEmail author
Research Article


The exploration for renewable and clean energies has become crucial due to environmental issues such as global warming and the energy crisis. In recent years, floating offshore wind turbines (FOWTs) have attracted a considerable amount of attention as a means to exploit steady and strong wind sources available in deep-sea areas. In this study, the coupled aero-hydrodynamic characteristics of a spar-type 5-MW wind turbine are analyzed. An unsteady actuator line model (UALM) coupled with a two-phase computational fluid dynamics solver naoe-FOAM-SJTU is applied to solve three-dimensional Reynolds-averaged Navier–Stokes equations. Simulations with different complexities are performed. First, the wind turbine is parked. Second, the impact of the wind turbine is simplified into equivalent forces and moments. Third, fully coupled dynamic analysis with wind and wave excitation is conducted by utilizing the UALM. From the simulation, aerodynamic forces, including the unsteady aerodynamic power and thrust, can be obtained, and hydrodynamic responses such as the six-degrees-of-freedom motions of the floating platform and the mooring tensions are also available. The coupled responses of the FOWT for cases of different complexities are analyzed based on the simulation results. Findings indicate that the coupling effects between the aerodynamics of the wind turbine and the hydrodynamics of the floating platform are obvious. The aerodynamic loads have a significant effect on the dynamic responses of the floating platform, and the aerodynamic performance of the wind turbine has highly unsteady characteristics due to the motions of the floating platform. A spar-type FOWT consisting of NREL-5-MW baseline wind turbine and OC3-Hywind platform system is investigated. The aerodynamic forces can be obtained by the UALM. The 6DoF motions and mooring tensions are predicted by the naoe-FOAM-SJTU. To research the coupling effects between the aerodynamics of the wind turbine and the hydrodynamics of the floating platform, simulations with different complexities are performed. Fully coupled aero-hydrodynamic characteristics of FOWTs, including aerodynamic loads, wake vortex, motion responses, and mooring tensions, are compared and analyzed.


Floating offshore wind turbine Unsteady aerodynamics Hydrodynamic responses Coupling effects naoe-FOAM-SJTU solver Actuator line model 


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Copyright information

© Harbin Engineering University and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Collaborative Innovation Center for Advanced Ship and Deep-Sea Exploration, State Key Laboratory of Ocean Engineering, School of Naval Architecture, Ocean and Civil EngineeringShanghai Jiao Tong UniversityShanghaiChina

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