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INTPART-International Partnerships for Excellent Education and Research

Green energy at sea: offshore wind turbines and energy systems for ships, ports, and offshore structures

Alternative title: Grønn energi til havs: offshore vindturbiner og energisystemer for skip, havn, og offshore konstruksjoner

Awarded: NOK 3.3 mill.

This project includes cooperation between two departments at NTNU (Marine Technology and Engineering Cybernetics, via SFF AMOS) and two departments at the University of Michigan (Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering, and Aerospace Engineering). The project comprises workshops and research exchanges as well as cooperation regarding course offerings in the fundamental disciplines related to two specific research topics. The two research topics are 1) stochastic dynamics and multidisciplinary design optimization (MDO) for offshore wind turbines and 2) energy systems for ships, ports, and offshore structures. For offshore wind turbines, MDO means that the design is optimized by simultaneously taking into account hydrodynamics (effects from waves and currents), aerodynamics (effects of the wind), the wind turbine control system (the logic which determines how turbines are operated), structural responses, and effects from other turbines in a park. This is a promising method to reduce costs more than what is possible through optimization of separate aspects independently. The complex dynamics of offshore wind turbines, including the effects of stochastic (random) variations wind, wave, current, and ice, make this a particularly complicated problem. Combined expertise from several fields is needed. Power and energy management for ships and offshore structures, especially hybrid electric power plants utilizing diesel and LNG as energy sources, battery banks, supercapacitors, and flywheels as energy storage, together with novel concepts related to power and propulsion plant configurations combined with advanced control methods, can offer environmental and economic benefits for society as a whole. In particular, hybrid electric propulsion can provide improved efficiency and fewer emissions. So far, there have been significant activities related to both teaching and research, and several exchanges of faculty, PhD candidates, and students. Six workshops have been held (a start-up meeting and a workshop at the University of Michigan, a two-day workshop and a technical workshop on the OpenMDAO tool at NTNU, and two digital workshops). These workshops have included 34 scientific presentations as well as a poster session. Two three-month PhD exchanges have taken place, one in each direction. Two common publications have introduced new design optimization methods for floating wind turbines. The optimization focuses on the tower, hull, and control system. Additional PhD exchanges were planned but have been postponed due to the pandemic. One NTNU master student has spent four months at the University of Michigan, another NTNU master student received co-supervision digitally from U. Michigan, and one U. Michigan master student wrote his master's thesis at NTNU. Significant work has also been carried out with respect to course improvements at the master level. At NTNU, a new course on MDO is being held for the second time. The course content is largely based on a similar course at University of Michigan, this year with updated reference material. A modified version of the marine dynamics course at NTNU is also being held for the second time, and updates to the curriculum and compendium have been discussed among the partners. Discussions regarding hybrid teaching techniques have also helped to improve the course offerings at a difficult time. A popular science publication of observations from these experiences has been submitted for publication. At the University of Michigan, integrated dynamic analysis of wind turbines has been introduced as a module in two different courses and carried out a total of three times.

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This project aims to achieve better connection between two departments at NTNU (Marine Technology and Engineering Cybernetics, via SFF AMOS) and the University of Michigan (Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering, and Aerospace Engineering): workshops and research exchanges in order to share experience and develop joint proposals for further collaboration, as well as boosting the educational offerings in the fundamental disciplines related to two specific research topics. The two research topics are 1) stochastic dynamics and multidisciplinary design optimization (MDO) for offshore wind turbines and 2) energy systems for ships, ports, and offshore structures. Offshore wind turbines are an important part of the renewable energy mix for the future. Multidisciplinary design optimization (MDO) - accounting for hydrodynamics, aerodynamics, the wind turbine control system, overall park, and structural design simultaneously - is a promising method to reduce costs. The complex dynamics of offshore wind turbines, including the effects of stochastic wind, wave, current, and ice, make this a particularly complicated problem. Combined expertise from marine technology and stochastic dynamics, MDO, control, and aerodynamics is needed. Power and energy management for ships and offshore structures, especially hybrid electric power plants utilizing diesel and LNG as energy sources, battery banks, supercapacitors, and flywheels as energy storage, together with novel concepts related to power and propulsion plant configurations combined with advanced control methods, can offer environmental and economic benefits for society as a whole. In particular, hybrid electric propulsion can provide improved efficiency and fewer emissions. The present project will help to connect experts in these fields as well as educate both master’s and PhD level students on related fundamental topics.

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INTPART-International Partnerships for Excellent Education and Research