Inspenet, December 22, 2023.
CENER and UPNA are immersed in the development of the Costa project , whose objective is to expand the simulation and control capabilities of the tests to improve the prediction of instabilities in offshore wind turbines. In addition, they seek to create control software that makes it possible to correct these instabilities.
For this reason, the center is dedicated to constantly perfecting the tools used in the design of floating wind turbines. This process involves the continuous improvement of open source software programs, such as OpenFAST, which has the ability to model aerodynamic loads, hydrodynamics, structural dynamics and control of wind turbines. Likewise, it focuses on optimizing programs such as OpenFOAM, which facilitates modeling the behavior of fluids in various physical environments, and carries out small-scale physical tests to evaluate the suitability of floating wind turbines and their control systems in water tanks.
In this context, CENER established contact with the Public University of Navarra (UPNA) to launch the Costa project. Its purpose is to expand the simulation capabilities of these tools and more precisely validate possible instabilities in the behavior of floating wind turbines. In addition, the aim is to create control software that allows these devices to be stabilized and improved. The coordination of this initiative falls on ADItech, also the coordinating agent of the Navarro R&D&I System (SINAI), and has the financial support of the Provincial Executive through the call for aid to technological centers and research organizations for the execution of collaborative R&D projects.
Greater stability for offshore wind turbines
Some companies that are dedicated to the development of floating platforms for wind turbines design their structures by anchoring them to the sea using a single mooring point. For this reason, they have presented CENER with various challenges that they face. Jesús Artal, engineer specialized in Analysis and Design of Offshore Wind Turbines at CENER, highlights the need to address several questions, such as the behavior of the platform in maritime conditions, the ability to automatically orient itself towards the wind to generate energy, the conditions and whether It is possible to control its rotation.
It should be noted that the project is in its third stage, which is focused on the development of control software that can correct the rotation induced by the wind turbine itself on platforms with a single mooring point.
The objective is to ensure that energy production is comparable to that of wind farms on land. Jesús Artal, engineer specialized in Analysis and Design of Offshore Wind Turbines at CENER, details that the goal is for the software to operate autonomously, without requiring human supervision. Specifically, the aim is for the wind turbine to remain stable against the movement of the sea and always point in the direction of the wind.
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