With their light weights, small components like braces and heave plates and steady trim angle caused by the wind loads acting on the rotor, semisubmersible foundations used as support platform for wind turbines exhibit a complex behaviour where viscous loading play an important role. The work done by the Offshore Code Comparison Collaboration Continued with Correlation (OC5) project has shown that standard engineering tools were not always able to predict accurately the motions of the DeepCwind semisubmersible that were measured in a basin. The correct amplitude of the motions at the natural periods of this system appeared to be difficult to obtain with simulations (especially the low frequency surge, and the pitch resonant motion). In view of the complexity of the system, it was not possible to clearly identify the causes of the differences between the simulations and the model-test results. A follow-on validation campaign was therefore performed at the Maritime Research Institute Netherlands (MARIN) under the MARINET2 project with the same floating substructure, with a focus on better understanding the hydrodynamic loads and reducing uncertainty in the tests by minimizing the system complexity.
The wind turbine was replaced by a stiff tower with resembling inertia properties. The mooring system was simplified by using taut-spring lines with equivalent linear stiffness in surge. This paper reviews the new tests done with the simplified set-up and examines the differences with previous tests done with more complex test set-ups. The main motivation of this work is to study how variations of an experimental set-up can affect the outcome of tests in a wave basin. To start with, the main parameters of the systems (inertia, hydrostatics, and mooring stiffness) for all set-ups are characterized to check how similar they are. Then the level of damping in all systems is compared. Finally, the paper looks at how well the motion responses of this semisubmersible in waves correlate between all these campaigns.