Author

Curtis Libby

Date of Award

12-2014

Level of Access

Campus-Only Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Mechanical Engineering

Advisor

Andrew J. Goupee

Second Committee Member

Richard W. Kimball

Third Committee Member

Habib J. Dagher

Abstract

With the global push to develop more effective sources of renewable energy, floating offshore wind has emerged as a potential technology to meet modern day energy needs. Despite years of industrial offshore wind experience in Europe (focused around the shallow water fixed designs), little real world data has been collected with regards to floating designs in the field. Understanding turbine to floating structure interactions is critical to the development of full-scaled floating offshore wind structures. This thesis will review the data acquisition system designed for use with the University of Maine's VolturnUS 1:8-scale prototype floating turbine. Methods of procuring measurements such as turbine performance, structural motions and loads, and environmental conditions will be discussed with an emphasis on the effectiveness of the assembled data collection system for achieving sound empirical data in a marine environment.

The thesis is organized in the following manner: Chapter 1 presents an introduction which provides the motivation for floating offshore wind development in brief, as well as discusses past research in this area with a focus on data collection and instrumentation. In Chapter 2, the scope of the VolturnUS 1:8 demonstration platform will be discussed to lay out the framework that drove the design of the instrumentation system. Chapter 3 serves as the introduction to the instruments used during this project, their selection relative to predicted and expected testing conditions, and the arrangement of these devices as components of several redundant data acquisition systems. In Chapter 4, the obtained data produced by these multiple systems will be compared to control results and predicted models for quality validation and verification, in addition to discussing the various challenges and success of the demonstration project from an instrumentation standpoint. Finally, Chapter 5 provides the conclusions of the information presented in this thesis as well as recommendations for future work.

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