Date of Award

Spring 5-5-2023

Level of Access Assigned by Author

Campus-Only Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Mechanical Engineering


Anthony Viselli

Second Committee Member

Andrew Goupee

Third Committee Member

Richard Kimball


Floating Offshore Wind Turbine (FOWT) development is an ever-growing field. Throughout its growth, the size of the turbines manufactured has increased at a rapid rate. This work seeks to investigate the effects of increasing hull and turbine sizes on FOWT aerodynamic loading, hydrodynamic loading, and global performance. The investigation utilizes a fully coupled commercial FOWT solver including a finite element representation of the hull structure. For simplicity and due to a lack of detailed information from wind turbine original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), the aerodynamic thrust loading is modeled using a point load on the hub. The hydrodynamic loading is modeled using Morison's equation as it more seamlessly generates the hydrodynamic loads required in the hull structural finite element model. In this work, 15, 20, and 24 MW FOWTs using OEM specifications are simulated using operational and extreme load cases. The operational load cases are simulated at both rated and cut-out wind speeds. The results highlight important global performance and structural design trends to consider as the FOWT industry pushes towards larger systems.

Available for download on Saturday, June 21, 2025