A novel framework for modeling floating offshore wind turbines based on the vector form intrinsic finite element (VFIFE) method (1)
Publication Name: Ocean Engineering
Currently, there is a rapid demand for the development of floating offshore wind turbines (FOWTs) for deployment in sites with deep water depths. FOWTs are highly complex structures that are subjected to combined loading from wind, hydrodynamic, hydrostatic, and mooring loads, and these loads have a significant influence on their dynamic behavior. The complexity of such a multi-body system makes the dynamic analysis considerably challenging and demands an efficient model to capture the physical characteristics of the system accurately. This paper proposes a novel framework for modeling floating offshore wind turbines (FOWTs) based on the vector form intrinsic finite element (VFIFE) method. In this framework, the multi-body dynamics (MBD) is used to handle the rigid body motion, and the analysis of structural deformation and the solution of governing equation of motions (EOMs) is implemented based on the VFIFE method. The methodology considers the FOWT as two rigid bodies: (a) the tower, which is a structural assembly of platform and nacelle; and (b) the rotor that can mechanically rotate relative to the nacelle. Further, a dynamic and flexible model of the mooring system is included, and their axial extension, inertia, and hydrodynamic loads are considered. The EOMs of the FOWT and mooring system are derived by the Newton-Euler (NE) and Newton’s second law, respectively and the central difference scheme is implemented to solve the EOMs. Finally, the developed model is subjected to different load cases under the combined action of wind and waves, and the responses of platform motion and the axial tension of the mooring system are calculated and verified against the FAST. After thorough verification of the VFIFE model which showed excellent agreement with FAST results, the proposed model is used (a) to highlight the variations caused by neglecting the dynamic of the mooring system where the results are compared with the quasi-static mooring model developed using the MAP++ module in FAST, and (b) reveal the coupled mechanism of the platform pitch and yaw motion when the rotor is spinning.