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Title: On the Use of Coupled Wind, Wave, and Current Fields in the Simulation of Loads on Bottom-Supported Offshore Wind Turbines during Hurricanes: March 2012 - September 2015

In the United States, potential offshore wind plant sites have been identified along the Atlantic seaboard and in the Gulf of Mexico. It is imperative that we define external conditions associated with hurricanes and severe winter storms and consider load cases for which wind turbines may need to be designed. We selected two hurricanes, Ike (2008) and Sandy (2012), and investigated the effect these tropical storms would have on bottom-supported offshore wind turbines that were hypothetically in or close to their path as they made landfall. For realistic turbine loads assessment, it is important that the coupled influences of the changing wind, wave, and current fields are simulated throughout the evolution of the hurricanes. We employed a coupled model--specifically, the University of Miami Coupled Model (UMCM)--that integrates atmospheric, wave, and ocean components to produce needed wind, wave, and current data. The wind data are used to generate appropriate vertical wind profiles and full wind velocity fields including turbulence; the current field over the water column is obtained by interpolated discrete output current data; and short-crested irregular second-order waves are simulated using output directional wave spectra from the coupled model. We studied two monopile-supported offshore wind turbines sited in 20 metersmore » of water in the Gulf of Mexico to estimate loads during Hurricane Ike, and a jacket space-frame platform-supported offshore wind turbine sited in 50 meters of water in the mid-Atlantic region to estimate loads during Hurricane Sandy. In this report we discuss in detail how the simulated hurricane wind, wave, and current output data are used in turbine loads studies. In addition, important characteristics of the external conditions are studied, including the relative importance of swell versus wind seas, aerodynamic versus hydrodynamic forces, current velocity effects, yaw control options for the turbine, hydrodynamic drag versus inertia forces, and soil-structure interaction effects. A detailed framework is presented that explains how coupled inputs can be included in turbine loads studies during a hurricane. This framework can aid in future efforts aimed at developing offshore wind turbine design criteria and load cases related to hurricanes.« less
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  1. Univ. of Texas, Austin, TX (United States)
  2. Univ. of Miami, Coral Gables, FL (United States)
  3. National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Wind and Water Technologies Office (EE-4W)
Contributing Orgs:
Univ. of Texas, Austin, TX (United States); Univ. of Miami, Coral Gables, FL (United States)
Country of Publication:
United States
16 TIDAL AND WAVE POWER wind turbine; offshore; hurricane; design criteria; wave loading; wind loading; coupled model; Hurricane Ike; Hurricane Sandy; NREL