Document Type

Honors Thesis


Mechanical Engineering


Andrew Goupee

Committee Members

Richard Kimball, Amrit Verma

Graduation Year

May 2023

Publication Date

Spring 2023


Floating offshore wind offers a clean and sustainable alternative to fossil fuels for the future of energy production. In Maine in particular, there is a great opportunity to take advantage of the wind resource off the coast and become a global leader in offshore wind. With the Maine coastal waters being too deep for fixed-bottom turbine structures, floating platforms that support the turbines have the opportunity to gain traction as the technology matures. As wind turbines increase in size and capacity, the floating hulls must also increase in size. The research presented in this thesis aimed to calculate and examine trends of floating offshore wind turbine floating hulls as turbine size increased. A mathematical model based on the University of Maine’s VolturnUS-S semisubmersible hull design, was developed to search for a minimum mass hull design that met specific constraints to approximate a viable design. Multiple studies were performed to examine the geometry trends, constraint trends, and relative costs of the designs given different constraints. The model showed that with constraints similar to current realworld designs, the relative cost of the hull per unit power of the turbine is relatively constant, while changing the constraints put on the system can yield more cost-efficient designs. The results of the studies provided a general outlook for the future of floating offshore wind hull designs, given different frameworks to determine how designs may be able to evolve.

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