A consortium of partners led by Principle Power has been awarded a USD 3.6 million grant from the U.S Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) to develop, validate and operate DIGIFLOAT, the world’s first digital twin software tailored to floating offshore wind applications.
This digital twin model will be a real-time, high-fidelity numerical representation of the WindFloat Atlantic (WFA) project, which will be one of the world’s first floating offshore wind farms once the installation is completed off the coast of northern Portugal.
“We are at the beginning of an exciting new era for floating wind and proud to be part of a team that is developing digital innovations that will help accelerate the deployment of the technology around the world,” said João Metelo, CEO, Principle Power.
“This grant will be instrumental in ensuring that the game-changing WindFloat technology can benefit from innovations that achieve greater efficiency and design optimization, which will make it increasingly competitive in terms of cost and performance.”
The project consortium is composed of Principle Power, Akselos, the American Bureau of Shipping, the University of Washington-Applied Physics Laboratory, the University of California Berkeley, U.S. Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division, and EDP Renewables North America Offshore.
“Insights from the digital twin model we build and validate will give designers, operators, and other stakeholders greater understanding into WFA’s performance and operation, leading to less downtime, lower operational costs and better predictive capabilities. Using the software on a full-scale floating offshore wind turbine in a dynamic, offshore environment enables us to create superior, next-generation designs by closing the design feedback loop on a real-world project,” said Sam Kanner, R&D Lead at Principle Power and Principal Investigator of the project.
The funding is part of the Aerodynamic Turbines Lighter and Afloat with Nautical Technologies and Integrated Servo-control (ATLANTIS) program, created by the Department of Energy to develop radically new floating offshore wind turbines by maximising their rotor-area-to-total-weight ratio while maintaining or ideally increasing turbine generation efficiency; build a new generation of computer tools to facilitate floating offshore wind turbine design; and collect real data from full and lab-scale experiments to validate the floating turbine designs and computer tools.