The Civil Engineering academic partners with the ABL Group.
Through an Industrial Research Fellowship granted by the Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng), Dr Agathoklis Giaralis and the ABL Group, will join forces on a research project to extend the application of bottom-fixed offshore wind turbines (BOWTs) to deeper waters with higher wind energy generation potential.
Their project is titled, ‘optimised fixed offshore wind turbine support structures’ (OPTWIND).
It will be followed by a new optimisation-driven BOWT design protocol, coupling minimal weight sizing of the turbine support structure with optimal tuning of innovative vibration absorbers to minimize the critical wind/wave stresses.
Dr Giaralis, an Associate Professor (Reader) in Structural Dynamics in the School of Science and Technology, said:
“Currently, the application of the very mature bottom-fixed offshore wind turbines is limited to 60-70m water depth, as the required dimensions and the self-weight of offshore wind turbine supporting structures to safely resist dynamic loads due to wind and wave loads, become uneconomical for deeper waters installation. Yet, it is known that the offshore wind energy generation potential increases further offshore, in deeper waters”.
The project is expected to result in a step-change in the current design of bottom-fixed offshore wind turbines, with a view to extend their range of applicability to deeper waters and to reduce costs in turbines in conventional water depths (≤60 m).
This will be achieved by developing a novel integrated optimisation-driven design protocol for bottom-fixed offshore wind turbines, in which the foundation and the turbine tower are sized for minimum weight together with the optimal tuning of dynamic vibration absorbers, for minimising wind/wave loads to the substructure and the turbine.
Dr Giaralis will be seconded into ABL Group to work on the research project. Tim Camp, ABL Group’s Director of turbine engineering, will take responsibility on the ABL Group side.
There are multiple ABL Group companies that support the offshore wind industry, including ABL, OWC, INNOSEA, Longitude Engineering and Add Energy.
Dr R. V. Ahilan, Chief Energy Transition Officer at ABL Group, said:
The industrial fellowships from the Royal Academy of Engineering are highly prestigious. They are only awarded to projects that address significant societal challenges. Extending the operational envelope of bottom-fixed turbines can be a cost-efficient way of both driving further growth of offshore wind and the required global energy transition.