Offshore wind technology is at the forefront of exploiting renewable energy at sea. The latest innovations in the field comprise floating wind turbines deployed in deep waters that are capable of intercepting the stronger, less turbulent winds farther away from the landmass. Despite being able to augment the power harnessed, wind resources remain intermittent in nature, and so unable to satisfy the energy demand at all times. Energy storage systems (ESS) are therefore being considered a key component to smoothen out the supply-demand mismatch when wind penetration into electricity grids increases. Yet, multiple issues pertaining to the integration of ESSs on large-scale projects arise, including economic, environmental and safety considerations.
This paper presents a novel concept for integrating a hydro-pneumatic energy storage (HPES) system within a spar-type floating offshore wind turbine (FOWT) platform. It aims to assess the technical feasibility of integrating the storage unit within the floater. A preliminary investigation on the influence of integrated storage on the static stability and hydrostatic response of a conventional ballast-stabilised FOWT is conducted, followed by numerical simulations for the dynamic response using ANSYS® AQWA™. Based on the results presented, several conclusions are drawn on the implications of integrating energy storage with floating wind turbine structures. Finally, a preliminary assessment of the thermal efficiency of the storage system based on this specific embodiment is also presented and discussed.