Offshore Design Optimization

Advancing technology, siting offshore turbines and wind farms, and reducing offshore wind’s cost of energy

Leveraging our rotor systems optimization capabilities in wind plants, we couple controls, loads and dynamics to optimal floating topologies, lowering the cost of energy of future coastal power plants. Sandia leads innovation inoffshore wind technology through:

  • Development of optimal topology for very large floating wind turbines in deep waters
  • Control integrated stability and force control with performance
  • High-fidelity platform design and optimization
  • Floating platform material optimization
  • Deep water mooring solutions
  • Extreme conditions and condition monitoring
  • Development of mid-fidelity offshore wind plant flow simulator
  • Resource assessment and characterization

Research Areas

Sandia applies decades of land-based wind experience to address the research challenges posed by offshore wind turbine siting and technology development. As part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s offshore wind program, we conduct research with two primary goals in mind: to reduce the technology risks associated with offshore wind power generation and to reduce the levelized cost of energy.

  • Floating Vertical Axis Wind Turbine
  • Large Offshore Rotor Development
  • Modeling Codes for Simulating Offshore Wind Farms
  • Structural Health & Prognostics Management
  • Sediment Transport & Scour Analysis

Learn how your organization can leverage Sandia’s expertise and resources to solve offshore wind challenges.

Innovative Vertical Axis Wind Turbine

Estimates suggest that more than 2000 GW of wind energy are available offshore in water more than
60 meters deep. To access this tremendous energy resource, Sandia is developing and evaluating floating wind turbines.

In deep-water environments, vertical-axis wind turbines (VAWTs) have inherent advantages over horizontal-axis wind turbines (HAWTs), including lower capital, operational, and maintenance costs. Sandia combines more than 35 years of applied research on VAWT technology and advanced analysis tools to design systems suitable for deep-water environments.

View a poster that explains the Floating Offshore VAWT project.

Large Offshore Rotor Development

200-Meter Blades

Sandia’s design for the Segmented Ultralight Morphing Rotor, a low-cost 50 Mw offshore turbine that uses
200-meter blades, could significantly increase offshore wind power performance in the United States and the world. The design, which was created as part of the Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy program, will capture more energy than conventional turbines. The rotor’s load alignment reduces the mass required for blade stiffening, allowing the turbines to withstand severe storms. Additionally, the massive blades can be manufactured in segments, which reduces manufacturing, transportation, and assembly costs.

Read the full press release.

100-Meter Blades

Sandia has developed a series of detailed 100-meter blade reference models that are available to designers and researchers for design studies and cost analysis. The available models include an initial baseline design using glass materials and conventional airfoils. A final, slightly lighter, reference design with carbon fiber, an updated core strategy and flatback airfoils is also available.

Sandia has developed a series of detailed 100-meter blade reference models that are available to designers and researchers for design studies and cost analysis. The available models include an initial baseline design using glass materials and conventional airfoils. A final, slightly lighter, reference design with carbon fiber, an updated core strategy and flatback airfoils is also available.

Download the Large Offshore Rotor Model

The proposed blades reach unprecedented lengths. Click the photo to see larger image.
Blade DesignationBlade ReportBrief DescriptionDesign ScorecardModel Files Mini-report
“SNL100-00”SAND2011-3779 (1.22MB PDF)Sandia 100m All-glass Baseline BladeSNL100-00 Design Scorecard (327KB PDF)SNL100-00 Model Files Description Report(447KB PDF)
“SNL100-01”SAND2013-1178Sandia 100m Blade with Carbon SparSNL100-01 Design Scorecard (332KB PDF)SNL100-01 Model Files Description Report
(1.25MB PDF)
“SNL100-02”SAND2013-10162Sandia 100-meter Blade with Advanced Core StrategySee SAND2013-10162
“SNL100-03”SAND2014-18129Sandia 100-meter Blade with Flatback AirfoilsSee SAND2014-18129

Turbine Model

All of the blade models are based on a 13.2 MW land-based turbine model:

Brief DescriptionModel Files Mini-Report
 13.2MW land-based turbine model with SNL100-00 BladesSNL13.2MW-00-Land Model Files Description Report (321KB PDF)

ExaWind

What is the ExaWind software?

  • An open-source collection of codes for wind turbine and wind farm simulations
  • Downloadable here: https://github.com/Exawind
  • Multi-fidelity: actuator disk (low fidelity) to highest-fidelity full-blade-resolved simulations
  • Backed by rigorous verification and validation
  • Established with modern software engineering, with a focus on performance portability
  • Funded by multiple projects
  • Code development team spans multiple organizations (primarily NREL, Sandia, ORNL, and LBNL)

What are the goals of the ExaWind team?

  • Provide pathways to understanding wind plant physics and reducing wind plant losses
  • Enable generation of simulation data and knowledge foundations for the next-generation of design tools
  • Provide software tools for exploring disruptive wind energy generation technology innovations quickly and with confidence

Brandon Ennis, Offshore Design Optimization

blennis@sandia.gov

Paul Crozier, ExaWind

pscrozi@sandia.gov