Adaptive simulation of unsteady flow past the submerged part of a floating wind turbine platform
Offshore floating platforms for wind turbines represent challenging concepts for designers trying to combine an optimal compromise between cost effectiveness and performance. Modelling of the hydrodynamic behaviour of the structure is still the subject of wide debate in the technical communities. The assessment of the hydrodynamics of the support structure is not an easy task as the floaters consist of an assembly of columns, braces and pontoons, commonly also with heave plates: Each of these components corresponds to a different hydrodynamic model and it further interacts with the other elements. This results in very complex non-linear modeling, which makes it necessary to resort to computational fluid dynamics (CFD) methods for the evaluation of the combined hydrodynamics. In the framework of the collaboration between the Basque Centre for Applied Mathematics (BCAM) and Tecnalia R&I, the interaction of the sea flow with a semisubmersible floating offshore wind platform have been calculated by using the open source solver Unicorn in the FEniCS-HPC framework when subject to a steady inflow. The prototype of the platform consists in a semi-submersible 4-columns column stabilized platform - NAUTILUS Floating Solutions concept-; columns are connected by a rigid ring pontoon provided with heave damping plates at the bottom. The novelty of the approach in FEniCS-HPC hinges upon an implicit formulation for the turbulence, a cheap free slip model of the boundary layer and goal-oriented mesh adaptivity [8, 6, 9, 20, 1]. We find that the results are consistent with experimental results for cylinders at high Reynolds number.