Validation and application of nonlinear hydrodynamics from CFD in an engineering model of a semi-submersible floating wind turbine
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Nonlinear hydrodynamics play a significant role in accurate prediction of the dynamic responses of floating wind turbines (FWTs), especially near the resonance frequencies. This study investigates the use of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations to improve an engineering model (based on potential flow theory with Morison-type drag) by modifying the second-order difference-frequency quadratic transfer functions (QTFs) and frequency-dependent added mass and damping for a semi-submersible FWT. The results from the original and modified engineering models are compared to experimental data from decay tests and irregular wave tests. In general, the CFD results based on forced oscillation tests suggest increasing the frequency-depending added mass and damping at low frequencies compared to first order potential flow theory. The modified engineering model predicts natural periods close to the experimental results in decay tests (within 5%), and the underprediction of the damping is reduced compared to the original engineering model. The motions, mooring line tensions and tower-base loads in the low-frequency response to an irregular wave are underestimated using the original engineering model. The additional linear damping increases this underestimation, while the modified QTFs based on CFD simulations of a fixed floater in bichromatic waves result in larger difference-frequency wave loads. The combined modifications give improved agreement with experimental data in terms of damage equivalent loads for the mooring lines and tower base.