This paper compares the dynamic responses and performance of two spar-type wind turbines, DeepSpar and ShortSpar, in deep and intermediate water depths, respectively. The oil and gas industry has implemented spar platforms in deep water areas. Spar platforms show good hydrodynamic performance due to their deep draft. The same idea is applied to offshore wind turbines to present a reliable concept. Hywind is an example of a successful offshore wind turbine based on the spar concept in deep water. The good performance of spar-type wind turbines motivates us to study the feasibility of using these turbines in moderate water depth. Spar-type 5-MW wind turbines in deep and moderate water depths are compared. The power performance, dynamic motions, tension responses, accelerations, structural shear forces and bending moments are studied. Simo/Riflex/TDHMILL3D is used to perform the coupled wave- and wind-induced analyses. Simo/Riflex, developed by MARINTEK, is a commercial tool for analyzing the coupled wave-induced responses of moored offshore structures. TDHMILL3D, is an external DLL that accounts for spar motions while calculating the aerodynamic thrust at each time step using the turbine characteristics and relative velocities. Different environmental conditions are used to compare the responses. The results show that spar-type wind turbine in the moderate water depth exhibits good performance and that its responses are reasonable compared to those of spar-type wind turbine in deep water. This finding indicates the feasibility of implementing the same rotor-nacelle assembly for both concepts. The total mass (the structural mass plus the ballast) of the ShortSpar is 35% less than that of the DeepSpar, while the statistical characteristics of the power generated are almost the same. The reduced mass of the ShortSpar helps to achieve a more cost-effective solution for floating wind turbines in moderate water depth.

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