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Aerodynamic Turbines Lighter and Afloat with Nautical Technologies and Integrated Servo-control

Accessible U.S. offshore wind is estimated at more than 25 quads per year (a quad is one quadrillion BTUs, equivalent to 45 million tons of coal, 1 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, or 170 million barrels of crude oil). Nearly 60% of that wind energy--the equivalent of the entire U.S. annual electricity consumption--blows across waters more than 200 feet deep, an area that cannot be economically accessed today. Floating offshore wind turbine (FOWT) technology has tremendous promise to access wind resources in these areas, but the current state of the art for FOWT is too massive and expensive for practical deployment. ATLANTIS seeks to design radically new FOWTs by maximizing their rotor-area-to-total-weight ratio while maintaining or ideally increasing turbine generation efficiency; build a new generation of computer tools to facilitate FOWT design; and collect real data from full and lab-scale experiments to validate the FOWT designs and computer tools. The program encourages the application of control co-design (CCD) methodologies that integrate all relevant engineering disciplines at the start of the design process, with feedback control and dynamic interaction principles as the primary drivers of the design. CCD methodologies enable designers to analyze the interactions of FOWTs' aero-, hydro-, elastic-, electric-, economic-, and servo-system dynamics, and propose solutions that permit optimal FOWT designs not achievable otherwise.

General Electric

Control Co-design and Co-optimization of a Lightweight 12 MW Wind Turbine on an Actuated Tension Leg Platform

GE Global Research and Glosten will design a new FOWT based on the 12 MW (megawatt) Haliade-X rotor and a lightweight three-legged acutated tension-leg platform. Applying a CCD methodology, the team will use advanced control algorithms to operate the turbine and concurrently design the integrated structure of the FOWT. The proposed turbine designs will have the potential to reduce the mass of the system by more than 35% compared with installed FOWT designs.

National Renewable Energy Laboratory

The FOCAL Experimental Program

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in collaboration with the University of Maine (UMaine) will develop and execute the Floating Offshore-wind and Controls Advanced Laboratory (FOCAL) experimental program. The project's goal is to generate the first public FOWT scale-model dataset to include advanced turbine controls, floating hull load mitigation technology, and hull flexibility. Current FOWT numerical tools require new capabilities to adequately capture advanced designs based upon control co-design methods. The FOCAL experimental program will generate critical datasets to validate these capabilities from four 1:60-scale, 15-MW (megawatt) FOWT model-scale experimental campaigns in the UMaine Harold Alfond W2 Wind-Wave Ocean Engineering Laboratory. The experiments will generate data for FOWT loads, motion, and performance, while operating with advanced turbine and platform controls in realistic wind and waves.

National Renewable Energy Laboratory

USFLOWT: Ultraflexible Smart FLoating Offshore Wind Turbine

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) will design an innovative floating offshore platform (SpiderFLOAT) to unlock the offshore wind market by lowering the cost of energy below the current value of fixed-bottom offshore wind plants. The project uses a revolutionary substructure based on a bioinspired, ultra-compliant, modular, and scalable concept and advanced control system. The team will complete preliminary design of a 10-MW unit by using CCD optimization techniques and advance the commercialization of the floating offshore wind technology.

National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Wind Energy with Integrated Servo-control (WEIS): A Toolset to Enable Controls Co-Design of Floating Offshore Wind Energy Systems

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) will develop a Wind Energy with Integrated Servo control (WEIS) model, a tool set that will enable CCD optimization of both conventional and innovative, cost-effective FOWTs. NREL's WEIS model will be entirely open-source and publicly accessible, bringing together many components and disciplines into a concurrent design environment. The new tool is based on previous well-known NREL computer simulations (OpenFAST and WISDEM) and improves their capabilities and mathematical models for aerodynamics, hydrodynamics, mechanical structures, electrical components, control systems, economic analysis, and CCD optimization. It will be flexible and modular so that users can incorporate their own design ideas, models, inputs, and load cases. The team's design will capture all of the critical nonlinear dynamics, system interactions, and life-cycle cost elements for a large range of FOWT archetypes and control actuators and sensors.

Otherlab, Inc.

AIKIDO - Advanced Inertial and Kinetic energy recovery through Intelligent (co)-Design Optimization

Traditional wind turbines have grown larger to reach the higher wind speeds found at greater heights and enable the blades to intercept a larger area of wind. The stiffness required to hold up the blades and nacelle has caused turbines to become extremely heavy and consequently expensive. Applying novel CCD paradigms, Otherlab will develop a new architecture for wind systems based on compliant materials, energy-generating structural surfaces, and advanced control systems that overcome the need for stiff, expensive materials by actively controlling how the system interacts with the environment.

Rutgers University

Computationally Efficient Control Co-Design Optimization Framework with Mixed-Fidelity Fluid and Structure Analysis

A multidisciplinary team including Rutgers University, University of Michigan, Brigham Young University, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and international collaborators (Norwegian University of Science and Technology and Technical University of Denmark) will develop a computationally efficient CCD optimization software framework for floating offshore wind turbine design. They will focus on developing a modular computational framework for the modeling, optimization, and control of primary structures coupled to the surrounding air, water, and actuator dynamics. Their framework will integrate traditional aeroelastic models with higher fidelity simulation tools. This project will yield a modular and open-source framework that will be available to the other Phase 1 teams to support the broad mission of the ATLANTIS Program.

Sandia National Laboratory

ARCUS Vertical-AXIS Wind Turbine

Sandia National Laboratories will design a vertical-axis wind turbine (VAWT) system, ARCUS, with the goal of eliminating mass and associated cost not directly involved in capturing energy from the wind. A VAWT is ideal for floating offshore sites. Its advantages over horizontal-axis wind turbines (HAWTs) include no need of yaw systems, improved aerodynamic efficiency and a lower level placement of the turbine's drivetrain that greatly reduces floating platform mass and associated system costs. The ARCUS design also replaces the turbine's VAWT tower with lighter, tensioned guy wires. The result is up to a 50% lower rotor mass than traditional VAWTs. This greatly minimizes platform and system costs. Instead of designing the platform to eliminate the motion of the turbine, the project team will design the oscillating turbine-platform system to operate safely under extreme weather conditions within an allowable response. The ARCUS turbine will ensure the technical leadership of U.S. commercial and research institutions.

University of Central Florida

Model-Based Systems Engineering and Control Co-Design of Floating Offshore Wind Turbines

The University of Central Florida will develop a comprehensive causality-free modeling and simulation platform that facilitates CCD, assists in incorporating multi-physics models, adapts to design changes, and allows rapid simulations to validate models and evaluate controllers for FOWTs. The team will study unique control concepts such as active tether actuation, gyroscopic balancing, hydraulic actuation, and individual pitch control. The research will reduce the time, cost and risks associated with experimentation, and open opportunities for better exploring the design space for higher efficiencies and optimality of floating offshore wind turbines. With a strong foundation of underlying physics, this approach will accelerate design iterations, leading to faster translation of product to market.

University of Maine

Ultra-light Concrete Floating Offshore Wind Turbine with NASA-developed Response Mitigation Technology

The University of Maine (UMaine) team will design an ultra-lightweight, corrosion-resistant, concrete FOWT equipped with NASA motion mitigation technology originally developed to reduce vibrations in rockets. UMaine proposes this technology to counteract FOWT motions, leading to lighter platforms, increased turbine performance, and a lower levelized cost of electricity (LCOE). The project will take a radical next step in the field of floating offshore wind while building upon UMaine's 12 years of experience in successfully designing and deploying the first grid-connected FOWT in the U.S. The proposed technology applies CCD methodologies to find a new FOWT concept and significantly reduce the LCOE. The project will leverage the design, numerical modeling, and scale model testing capabilities of the UMaine Harold Alfond W2 Wind-Wave Ocean Engineering Laboratory to significantly advance this concept.

University of Texas, Dallas

A Low-Cost Floating Offshore Vertical Axis Wind System

The University of Texas at Dallas (UT-Dallas) team plans to develop a floating turbine design featuring a vertical axis wind turbine (VAWT). The design will exploit inherent VAWT characteristics favorable to deep water environments and use a CCD approach to overcome common challenges. VAWTs offer advantages over traditional offshore wind designs because they have a lower vertical center of gravity and center of pressure; require a smaller, less expensive floating platform; do not need yaw control systems; and have the potential to reduce operations and maintenance costs due to platform-level access to the drivetrain. The UT-Dallas team will design a system based on a hierarchical CCD (H-CCD) framework tailored to the floating VAWT system design. Their design framework includes aero-elastic tailoring of the rotor to reduce parked and operating loads, coordination of active plasma on-blade flow control with rotor speed control to reduce torque variability, and a lightweight and stable platform design.
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