A floating network for wind energy research in Europe

Research team from Oldenburg investigates floating wind turbines within a European network

The Center for Wind Energy Research (ForWind) at the University of Oldenburg is one of ten institutions from seven European countries in the training and education program FLOAWER (FLOAting Wind Energy netwoRk). FLOAWER fosters the multidisciplinary training of a total of 13 early stage researchers (ESR) with the aim of developing high-performance floating wind turbines and thus reducing the cost of wind power generation. The program is funded by the EU for four years as an Innovative Training Network (ITN) within the Marie-Skłodowska-Curie Actions.

While Europe is generating more and more electricity from wind energy, the space for additional wind turbines onshore is becoming more and more limited. Researchers therefore see in floating offshore wind turbines considerable potential and an opportunity for Europe. However, they are facing two major challenges: The energy costs are still higher compared to onshore wind turbines and there is a lack of qualified future employees. FLOAWER is designed to address these challenges. In the program, young scientists will work on questions concerning floating wind turbines as part of their doctoral theses.

At ForWind the focus will be on questions concerning the dynamics of floating turbines. Both, the incoming wind and the wave movements, lead to additional complex movements of the floating turbines, which can influence the power generation and loads of the turbines. Knowledge about the complex patterns of movement is urgently required for the development of this technology. The researchers will carry out experiments with model wind turbines on moving platforms in the large Oldenburg wind tunnel to simulate real conditions at sea. They want to investigate how the swimming movements influence the dynamic response behavior of the turbines and their wake flows. The results of the experiments shall provide a better understanding of floating wind turbines. The scientists will use these experimental findings in computer models for the simulations of such turbines.

FLOAWER partner

Centrale Nantes (ECN) (France), Politecnico di Milano (PoliMI) (Italy), Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg (UOLD) (Germany), Universität Stuttgart (SWE) (Germany), CNRS (France), University College Cork (UCC) (Ireland), Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) (Norway), Technical University of Denmark (Denmark), WavEC Offshore Renewables (Portugal) and University of Rostock (UROS) (Germany).

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