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Dynamics of a Floating Platform Mounting a Hydrokinetic Turbine

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A two-dimensional mathematical model was developed to predict the dynamic response of a moored, floating platform mounting a tidal turbine in current and waves. The model calculates heave, pitch, and surge response to collinear waves and current. Waves may be single frequency or a random sea with a specified spectrum. The mooring consists of a fixed anchor, heavy chain (forming a catenary), a lightweight elastic line, and a mooring ball tethered to the platform. The equations of motion and mooring equations are solved using a marching solution approach implemented using MATLAB. The model was applied to a 10.7-m twin-hulled platform used to deploy a 0.86-m shrouded, in-line horizontal axis turbine. Added mass and damping coefficients were obtained empirically using a 1/9 scale physical model in tank experiments. Full-scale tests were used to specify drag coefficients for the turbine and platform. The computer model was then used to calculate full-scale mooring loads, turbine forces, and platform motion in preparation for a full-scale test of the tidal turbine in Muskeget Channel, Massachusetts, which runs north-south between Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket Island. During the field experiments, wave, current, and platform motion were recorded. The field measurements were used to compute response amplitude operators (RAOs), essentially normalized amplitudes or frequency responses for heave, pitch, and surge. The measured RAOs were compared with those calculated using the model. The very good agreement indicates that the model can serve as a useful design tool for larger test and commercial platforms.
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Keywords: Muskeget Channel; floating platform dynamics; seakeeping; tidal energy; wave response field measurements

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2013

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  • The Marine Technology Society Journal is the flagship publication of the Marine Technology Society. It publishes the highest caliber, peer-reviewed papers on subjects of interest to the society: marine technology, ocean science, marine policy and education. The Journal is dedicated to publishing timely special issues on emerging ocean community concerns while also showcasing general interest and student-authored works.
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