ABS, a provider of classification services to the offshore wind industry, has concluded a study on the technical feasibility of deploying floating wind turbines on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf (OCS).
The goal of the study was to determine how floating structures and moorings would be affected by the strong interactions among the wind turbine rotor, control system, floating platform and mooring/cable system, and how different loading events could impact these systems.
ABS was awarded this study in December 2010 through the U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement's Technology Assessment and Research Program. The project included a technical feasibility study of existing floating wind turbines.
Study results served as a basis for identifying the critical technical challenges to deploying floating wind turbines on the OCS. The final step of the project was the proposal of a draft design guideline for permitting floating wind turbine deployment on the U.S. OCS.
Extensive case studies were conducted to evaluate the characteristic load conditions and global responses of three representative design concepts, including a spar-type, a TLP-type and a column-stabilized (semisubmersible-type) floating support structure and their associated station-keeping systems.
Operational and extreme environmental conditions of the East, West and Gulf of Mexico coastal regions on the OCS were applied in all of the case studies.