AZIMUT project (Spanish CENIT R&D program) is designed to establish the technological groundwork for the subsequent development, of a large-scale offshore wind turbine. The project (2010–2013) has analysed different floating offshore wind turbines (FOWT): SPAR, TLP and Semi-Submersible platforms were studied. Acciona, as part of the consortium, was responsible of scale-testing a Semi-submersible platform to support a 1.5MW wind turbine. The floating platform geometry considered in this paper has been provided by the Hiprwind FP7 project and is composed by three buoyant columns connected by bracings. The main focus of this paper is on hydrodynamic modelling of the floater, with especial emphasis on the estimation of the wave drift components and their effects on the design of the mooring system. Indeed, with natural periods of drift around 60 seconds, accurate computation of the low-frequency second-order components is not a straightforward task. As methods usually adopted when dealing with the slow-drifts of deep-water moored systems, such as Newman’s approximation, have their errors increased by the relatively low resonant periods, and as the effects of depth cannot be ignored, the wave diffraction analysis must be based on full Quadratic Transfer Functions (QTF) computations. A discussion on the numerical aspects of performing such computations is presented, making use of the second-order module available with the seakeeping software WAMIT®. Finally, the paper also provides a preliminary verification of the accuracy of the numerical predictions based on the results obtained in a series of model tests with the structure fixed in bichromatic waves.

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