Collaborative Research: GOALI: Efficient Multiline Mooring Systems for Floating Wind Turbines
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This collaborative Grant Opportunities for Academic Liaison with Industry (GOALI) project seeks to develop a novel, integrated, and networked multiline mooring system for floating offshore wind turbines that can provide significant capital cost savings in terms of materials and installation, and thereby contribute to making offshore wind energy cost competitive with other sources. Reducing the cost of energy generated from offshore wind sources is critical to meeting national renewable energy goals and for meeting the needs of a robustly growing economy. The industry partner, Vryhof Anchors, is a world leader in anchor systems for offshore structures and has become increasingly involved in the offshore wind industry, including providing the anchoring system for the world''s first floating offshore wind turbine. Vryhof, through its subsidiary Vryhof Americas, will work closely with the academic research team to ensure that research tasks are closely aligned with industrial needs, and that the academic research is informed by the latest industrial advances. Vryhof will also act as a liaison between the academic team and other industry contacts. To successfully develop the proposed multiline mooring system, the research must address issues of dynamics of floating platforms in irregular wind and wave states, mooring line actions, and the mechanics of anchor-soil interaction for a variety of anchor types, soil stratigraphies, and mooring geometry. The principal goal of this research is to provide a path to transformation of offshore floating wind farm design from one in which turbines mooring systems are designed and constructed individually to one in which the mooring system for the entire wind farm is designed as a networked system with greatly increased material and installation efficiency. Specific research objectives are to: (1) generate idealized soil stratigraphies; (2) explore the geometric design space for wind farm layout compatible with the multiline concept; (3) develop spatially correlated wind wave models for the extent of an offshore wind farm; (4) model mooring line forces as correlated random processes; (5) analyze anchor behavior using 3D finite element analysis; (6) evaluate candidate multiline anchor designs for feasibility and cost. The project achieves broad impact through the Vryhof industrial collaboration and partnership with demonstration projects based at UMaine. Educational synergy occurs through the graduate education activities of the UMass Wind Energy IGERT program and the UMass STEM Diversity Institute and Texas A&M AGEP programs.