Abstract

As renewable energy developers start venturing into deeper waters, the floating offshore wind turbines (FOWTs) are becoming the preferred solutions over fixed supporting structures. Many similarities can be identified between a FOWT and a floating oil & gas facility, such as floater concepts (spar, semi-submersible, tension leg platform, etc) and their mooring system designs. This paper focuses on the mooring designs for FOWTs by leveraging the extensive experience gained from the offshore oil & gas industry. Similarities and differences are highlighted in design criteria, mooring analysis, long-term integrity management, installation method and project execution. The established practices regarding mooring design and analysis are reviewed. Anchor radius is recommended based on water depth by referencing sample mooring designs from the oil & gas industry. Long-term mooring integrity and failure rates are summarized. Meanwhile, a few well-known issues are discussed, such as line break due to fatigue, corrosion on chain, and known issues with components such as clump weights. Regarding mooring installation, the established method for prelay and hook-up is reviewed. Finally, opportunities for cost reduction of mooring systems of FOWTs are presented related to project execution of large scale wind farms as well as potential areas of innovation, such as installation methods, use of synthetic fiber rope, and digitalization. In summary, the state-of-the-art practices from the oil & gas industry are reviewed and documented to benefit the developments of upcoming FOWT projects.

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