New UK/US research aims to reduce the levelised cost of energy (LCoE) in offshore floating wind by investigating the effects of using wake steering.

offshore wind

Wake steering could reduce the levelised cost of energy (LCoE) in offshore floating wind. Photo: DNV

A DNV-led UK team has begun work on the project, funded by Innovate UK, and in cooperation with the US National Offshore Wind Research & Development Consortium (NOWRDC).

Pierre Sames, senior vice president, group research and development director at DNV, said: “As the floating offshore wind sector develops, we need research to understand whether technology proven for onshore wind farms can deliver similar impacts on improving energy production of offshore floating wind farms.”

Two streams of research

In the UK, DNV, Durham University and Marine Power Systems are combining expertise on wind resource, wake modelling, wind farm control, floating platform design and economic modelling in the research project CONFLOWS (CONtrol of FLOating wind farms with Wake Steering).

The US project team, led by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), in partnership with Cornell University and Equinor, will focus on specific regions of North America with potential for offshore wind and will perform optimisation studies using wind farm control.

The economic analysis undertaken will give an industry-first comprehensive overview of the effects of the use of wake steering techniques in offshore floating wind farms and whether they can have a positive impact on the project costs.

The consortia will share data and knowledge beneficial for the modelling of site-specific meteorological conditions and complex wind farm wake scenarios due to wind farm control applications, to advance the offshore wind industry as a whole.

Wake steering attempts to deflect each turbine's wake away from downstream turbines, allowing increased overall power production, and longer lifetime of the turbine through reduced fatigue damage.

By Rebecca Jeffrey