Abstract

During single blade installation in offshore wind farms, relative motion between nacelle and blade root due to wind and wave excitation pose a significant challenge. Wave excitation can be modelled considerably well by employing state-of-the-art simulation tools and can, therefore, be included in installation planning. Other phenomena, such as flow-induced vibrations are hard to capture and hence challenging to account for when defining installation procedures and limitations. Here, we present measurements conducted during the installation of an offshore wind farm consisting of multi-megawatt turbines installed on monopile foundations in the North Sea. A custom-built sensor capturing linear & angular acceleration and GPS-data was deployed atop the nacelle. Both partially and fully assembled turbines displayed complex oscillation orbits, swiftly changing amplitude and direction. Mean nacelle deflection correlated strongly with significant wave height as well as mean wind speed. As wind speed and significant wave height showed a strong correlation as well, it is difficult to discern which load drives the observed relative motions. While wind loads are significantly smaller than wave loads on partially assembled turbines under installation conditions, additional momentum induced by vortex shedding may prove sufficient to cause the observed effects.

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