Offshore windpower

Flow around an offshore wind turbine
(the picture is based on this)

PhD student: Johanna Matsfelt
Supervisor: Lars Davidson
Co-supervisor: Håkan Nilsson
Sponsors: Chalmers
Publications: [-]
Cooperation: Claes Eskilsson
Johannes Palm
Dept. of Shipping and Marine Technology
Start of project: September 2015
End of project: -

Wind turbines placed onshore and offshore placed on the sea bed has been around for some time. At water depths larger than 40 m, the economic advantages turn from putting the wind turbine on the sea bed to putting it on a floating platform. Depths like this represent a large part of the water areas around the world which could be used for offshore windpower. To be able to use these areas further research is needed to simulate the behavior of floating wind turbines.


Floating wind turbines at deep waters present an important and interesting modeling challenge as dynamic response depend on several factors including loads from wind, waves, currents, mooring, effects from elastic deformations and the control system. Thus, floating offshore wind turbines (FOWT) present an interesting interdisciplinary research challenge. There exist several codes aimed for simulation of FOWT:s but most use simplified approaches to the flow around the turbine blades (Blade Element Method), for the waves (linear wave theory) and for mooring. There is a need for more advanced tools using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) for both wind and wave loads as well as non-linear methods for mooring.


The project is a collaboration between the department of Applied Mechanics and Shipping and Marine Technology at Chalmers. At Applied Mechanics the flow field around the wind turbine is simulated using Large Eddy Simulation (LES). The software used is OpenFOAM coupled to the aeroelastic solver FAST. This is done by SOWFA which is a set of solvers, turbine models and boundary conditions in OpenFOAM. This allows the user to simulate the wind turbine in an atmospheric boundary layer taking the forces from waves and mooring into account. Both the software SOWFA and FAST are made by NREL. In this project SOWFA will be further developed for floating wind turbines.




  1. J. Matsfelt, "Actuator turbine models and trailing edge flow: implementation in an in-house code", MSc thesis, Göteborg, Sweden, 2015.
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This page, Aerodynamic loads on wind turbines, should be part of a frames system at
Ingalena Ljungström