Real-Time Hybrid Model (ReaTHM) tests of a braceless semi-submersible wind turbine were carried out at MARINTEK’s Ocean Basin in 2015. The tests sought to evaluate the performance of the floating wind turbine (FWT) structure in environmental conditions representative of the Northern North Sea. In order to do so, the tests employed a new hybrid testing method, wherein simulated aerodynamic loads were applied to the physical structure in the laboratory. The test method was found to work well, and is documented in [1].

The present work describes some of the experimental results. The test results showed a high level of repeatability, and permitted accurate investigation of the coupled responses of a FWT, including unique conditions such as blade pitch faults. For example, the influence of the wind turbine controller can be seen in decay tests in pitch and surge. In regular waves, aerodynamic loads due to constant wind had little influence on the structure motions (except for the mean offsets). Tests in irregular waves with and without turbulent wind are compared directly, and the influence of the wave-frequency motions on the aerodynamic damping of wind-induced low-frequency motions can be observed.

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