Current methods for installation of offshore wind turbines are all sensitive to the weather conditions and the present cost level of offshore wind power is more than twice the cost of land-based units, increasing with water depth. This paper presents numerical simulations of a novel experimental gripper design to reduce the environmental effects applied to a catamaran type of vessel during wind turbine installation. In SFI MOVE project in NTNU Aalesund, our team proposed a novel wind turbine installation process. A new catamaran vessel will carry pre-assembled wind turbines to the installation location. Two new designed grippers on the deck will make a lifting operation to install the wind turbine onto the turbine foundation. Three prismatic grippers with several rolling contact points at the end are attached in an arc at the catamaran’s aft, designed to grasp the turbine foundation in order to make a connection between the two in the horizontal plane. This paper will only emphasize the contact responses between the turbine foundation and the three grippers during the wind turbine installation process. Numerical simulations are carried out using the virtual prototyping framework Vicosim which is developed by NTNU Aalesund. The simulation results show validation of a key part of the proposed new wind turbine installation idea.

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