A vertical axis wind turbine (VAWT) typically has a low position of the center of gravity and a large allowable tilt angle, which could allow for a relatively small floating support structure. Normally however, the drawback of large loads on the VAWT rotor during parked survival conditions limits the extent to which the floater size can be reduced. If active blade pitch control is applied to the VAWT, this drawback can be mitigated and the benefits can be fully utilized.
The coupled dynamics of a 6 MW VAWT with active blade pitch control supported by a GustoMSC Tri-Floater semi-submersible floater have been simulated using coupled aero-hydro-servo-elastic software. The applied blade pitch control during power production results in a steady-state thrust curve which is more comparable to a HAWT, with the maximum thrust occurring at rated wind velocity.
During power production, floater motions occur predominantly at low frequencies. These low frequency motions are caused by variations in the wind velocity and consequently the rotor thrust and torque. For the parked survival condition, it is illustrated that active blade pitch control can be used to effectively reduce dynamic load variations on the rotor and minimize floater motions and mooring line tensions.