A Consortium of leading Danish players establishes a test lab for floating wind turbines in the 20 MW class. The laboratory includes wind, waves and a model scale wind turbine. The measurements are connected directly to calculation models in a 'Digital Twin' setup. Innovation Fund Denmark invests DKK 15.3 million in the project.
92% of Europe's offshore wind turbines have been produced with origin in the Danish wind industry. The next step is floating wind farms, where new projects up to 2030 are predicted to reach about half of the current installed bottom fixed capacity.
The floating foundations must be able to withstand extreme waves and storms, and their costs must be brought down. This places new demands on calculation models for both turbines and foundations. This is precisely where the new FloatLab project contributes to uncovering the new physics, reducing risks and validating the engineering models used for turbine and floating foundation design.
- FloatLab will change the way we combine numerical models and measurement data, says Henrik Bredmose, Professor at DTU and leader of the project and continues:
- We establish a direct link between the measurement setup and the calculation models, so that we can ultimately make the design process faster and more accurate.
The laboratory will be located at DHI A/S, where a new wind generator and a new model scale wind turbine will be built that can be mounted on models of new floating foundations. The project partners are DTU, DHI, Siemens-Gamesa Renewable Energy, Stiesdal Offshore, Stromning and Ørsted, all of which draw on solid experience from floating turbines and offshore wind. Among the aspects to be tested during the project are 3D waves, loads from breaking waves, turbulence and failure of mooring lines.
- Floating offshore wind turbines are still a relatively new technology, and production and processes are still not optimised. With FloatLab, we will increase the industry knowledge and can eventually reduce risks and costs for offshore wind entrepreneurs and thereby accelerate the green transition, says Pietro Danilo Tomaselli, Senior Hydraulic Engineer and head of the FloatLab activities at DHI.
Stiesdal Offshore, developer of the innovative Tetra floating foundation concept, is another project partner.
- We are excited to contribute our expertise on the Tetra foundation and provide insights into the unique challenges regarding industrialisation faced by the floating wind industry. We eagerly anticipate our involvement in the project, states Michael Borg, Chief Engineer at Stiesdal Offshore.
The project, which Innovation Fund Denmark invests 15.3 MDKK in, will run until 2027 with gradual upgrading of measurement setup, models and interconnection. The results will be presented at open workshops, conferences, a PhD summer school and will be included in the numerical calculation models.
- Investment from Innovation Fund Denmark: 15.4 mDKK
- Total budget: 22.3 mDKK
- Duration: 4 years
- Official titel: FloatLab
About the partners
DTU Wind is the world's largest public wind research institute and is recognised as a pioneer in international wind energy research. DTU Wind has solid experience with floating wind turbines, including the coupling between turbines, hydrodynamics, aerodynamics and control. DTU Wind heads FloatLab and will contribute with wind generator design, model scale turbine, digital twin and calculation models for wave loads, wind loads and response.
DHI A/S develops, applies and disseminates research, technology and digitalisation within water and water environments. DHI is active in 115 countries and has 60 years of experience in model testing with tests of floating structures. In recent years, focus in this area has been on physical model tests and numerical tools for floating wind, and DHI prioritises being at the forefront as part of the green transition. DHI contributes to FloatLab with modern test facilities, numerical tools and knowledge.
Siemens-Gamesa Renewable Energy A/S is the global market leader in offshore turbines with more than 30 years of experience. SGRE has been a pioneer in floating wind energy since 2009 (HyWind Demo) and delivered the turbines to the world's first wind farm in 1991. SGRE's participation in FloatLab will contribute to the continued development of in-house models for loads and response for floating wind turbines.
Stiesdal Offshore's main mission is to reduce the long and costly development time for floating offshore wind technology. Many nations do not yet have offshore wind power or do not have access to sea areas shallow enough to get it. Here, floating wind energy is the only possibility to access large amounts of renewable energy. The creation of knowledge in FloatLab will reduce the development time for floating wind to the benefit of the entire industry.
STROMNING develops open source computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software, which is used as an engineering tool all over the world - especially for design optimization and virtual testing of products and structures that interact with water and other fluids. STROMNING has world-leading expertise in wave simulations, two-phase flows and fluid-structure interaction and has as its mission to utilize this knowledge to accelerate the development of green technologies. Contributing to the realization of floating wind through the FloatLab project is thus 100% in line with STROMNING's purpose.
Ørsted develops, constructs, and operates offshore and onshore wind farms, solar farms, energy storage facilities, renewable hydrogen and green fuels facilities, and bioenergy plants. Ørsted built the world’s first offshore wind farm in 1991 in Denmark, and last year completed the world’s biggest offshore wind farm, Hornsea 2, off the coast of England. Ørsted is recognised on the CDP Climate Change A List as a global leader on climate action and was the first energy company in the world to have its science-based net-zero emissions target validated by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).