Floating wind is now entering a commercial-stage, and there are a significant number of commercial projects in countries like France, Japan, UK and Portugal. A floating wind project is complex and has many interdependencies and interfaces. During all stages of the project several participants are expected to use a numerical model of the whole system and not only the part the participant has to design. Examples of this are the mooring and floater designer requiring a coupled model of the whole system including also the wind turbine, the operations team requiring a model of the system to plan towing and operations. All these stakeholders require a coupled model where the hydrodynamics, aerodynamics and structural physics of the system are captured with different levels of accuracy.

In this paper, we will concentrate on a simplified model for the aerodynamic loading of the turbine in idling and standstill conditions that can be easily implemented in a simulation tool used for floater, mooring and marine operations studies.

The method consists of using a subset of simulations at constant wind speed (ideally close to the wind speed required for the simulations) run on a detailed turbine model on a rigid tower and fixed foundation — normally run by the turbine designer. A proxy to the aerodynamic loads on the rotor and nacelle (RNA) is to take the horizontal yaw bearing loads. The process is then repeated for a range of nacelle yaw misalignments (for example every 15° for 360°). A look-up table with the horizontal yaw bearing load for the range of wind-rotor misalignments investigated is created. The simplified model of the aerodynamic loads on the RNA consists of a fixed blade (or wing) segment located at the hub, where aerodynamic drag and lift coefficients can be specified. Using the look-up tables created using the detailed turbine model, drag and lift coefficients are estimated as a function of the angle between the rotor and the wind direction.

This representation of the aerodynamic loading on the RNA was then verified against full-field turbulent wind simulations in fixed and floating conditions using a multi-megawatt commercial turbine. The results for the parameters concerning the floater, mooring and marine operations design were monitored (e.g. tower bottom loads, offsets, pitch, mooring tensions) for extreme conditions and the errors introduced by this simplified rotor are generally lower than 4%. This illustrates that this simplified representation of the turbine can be used by the various parties of the project during the early stages of the design, particularly when knowing the loading within the RNA and on higher sections of the tower is not important.

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