Twenty-five international Ph.D. students and young researchers of the international offshore wind industry gathered last week at the floating wind turbine challenge, organized by the Maritime Research Institute Netherlands (MARIN) and International Network on Offshore Renewable Energy (INORE). At this event, seven teams had to develop a floating structure for a 1/100 scale wind turbine in only 24 hours. All participants were provided the same choice of basic materials (PVC pipes, foam blocks, weights, tapes) and had to build the models by themselves. The concept with the lowest construction weight in combination with the lowest acceleration at the nacelle would be declared the winner.
Sebastien Gueydon of MARIN who has been in close contact with INORE during the preparation of this event emphasizes:”The goal of this event is not to thoroughly test any existing concept or to come up with a new concept; this would require more than 24 hour... The goal is to promote teamwork and creativity. It also shows that with a little budget for the construction of the model... some very rewarding tests can already be done!”
Samuel Harding, member of the steering committee of INORE adds: “It also gives the opportunity to young researchers to meet and work together while they develop their floater, build it and test it in the basin.”
The concepts were tested in extreme waves up to 10m full scale, for a duration of more than 2 hours. All concepts passed the first check point as all survived this shack down. First prize went to the “Wind Hammer,” which had only a weight of 3.5 kg. The winner of the innovation prize was the “Cradle,” which had the lowest acceleration at the nacelle but a greater weight of 6 kg.