Existing mooring systems for floating offshore wind turbines are largely based on designs from the oil and gas industry. Even though these can ensure the safe station keeping of the floating wind platform, the design of the mooring system is currently largely conservative, leading to additional expense in an industry striving to achieve cost reduction. Recent interest in the usage of mooring materials with non-linear stiffness has shown that they have the potential to reduce peak line loads, ultimately reducing cost. This paper reports on the combined physical testing and numerical modeling of a hydraulic-based mooring component with these characteristics. The results suggest that the inclusion of the component as part of the OC4 semi-submersible platform can reduce the peak line loads by 10%. The paper also discusses a number of challenges associated with modeling and testing dynamic mooring materials.

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