OpenFAST is an open-source, physics-based engineering tool applicable to the load analysis of land-based and offshore wind turbines, including floating offshore wind turbines. The substructure for a floating wind turbine has historically been modeled in OpenFAST as a rigid body with hydrodynamic loads lumped at a point, which enabled the tool to predict the global response of the floating substructure but not the structural loads within its individual members. This limitation is an impediment to designing floating substructures — especially newer designs that are more streamlined, flexible, and cost-effective. This paper presents the development plan of new capabilities in OpenFAST to model floating substructure flexibility and member-level loads, including the functional requirements and modeling approaches needed to understand and apply them correctly.

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