USA: Maine Marine Composites Wins Federal Grant to Study Ocean Turbine Stress Limits
The U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) has awarded a GBP 249,976 federal grant to Maine Marine Composites to analyze the best ways to predict fatigue in the support structures of floating offshore wind turbines.
“Maine Marine Composites engineers predict the performance and stress on components in ocean-based systems by analyzing fluid-structure interactions,” said company Chief Technology Officer Richard Akers. “There is little data available on the motions and loads associated with floating wind turbines – most research on the fatigue lifetime of floating structures and mooring systems has been conducted on oil and gas platforms which operate in much deeper water and are subject to different loads. The floating wind industry needs to be able to predict the lifetime and maintenance costs of floating wind turbines, especially as related to snap load events and to corrosion degradation.”
Maine Marine Composites will partner with Dr. Krish Thiagarajan of the Mechanical Engineering Department of the University of Maine to examine existing fatigue design criteria gathered from several years’ worth of performance data collected at various existing offshore wind and ocean energy projects around the globe. The team will compare the field data with software simulation predictions to find ways to improve the predictions. Engineers will determine the applicability and accuracy of existing standards-based methodologies and recommend a rational, practical fatigue analysis method for floating offshore wind turbines.
Press release, November 8, 2013; Image: statoil