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Applied Physical Chemistry and Mechanics

Optimizing the electric cable of a floating wind turbine

Floating wind turbine technologies, such as those co-developed by SBM and IFPENa, are designed to optimize the recovery of offshore wind energy.

Optimization solutions are currently being sought to minimize the costs of transporting the electricity produced, by adapting the configurationb of cables, which are exposed to currents and movements of the floating platform (figure 1).

                                                               Figure 1

Calculating the response of a floating wind turbine to these aerodynamic and hydrodynamic loadings requires the use of complex numerical simulators but ones that do not provide the gradient of this response with respect to model input parameters. Similarly, publications on the subject refer to non-gradient optimization algorithms that may converge slowly or are difficult to configure.

IFPEN’s Atoutc platform proposes the SQAd algorithm, which is particularly effective in this contexte(1). From a starting point, this algorithm rapidly finds the optimal configuration for an electric cable (figure 2) respecting force and displacement limits, for extreme loads(2).

This original approach will form the basis of more effective research leading to the optimized configuration of electric cables, dimensioned for a variety of load conditions.

                                                               Figure 2

a- SBM offshore - Floating wind turbine concept development
b- Various sections, each being characterized by its length, its diameter and its buoyancy (figure)
c- Advanced Tools for Optimization and Uncertainty Treatment, the word “Atout” translates as “Asset"
d- Sequential Quadratic Approximation
e- With “black box” type simulators (only the result is known)


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Published in Science@ifpen n°34 - October 2018


  1. H. Langouët, (2011), Derivative free optimization method and physical simulations coupled with statistical models for transient engine calibration (see page 143), thesis Univ. Nice-Sophia Antipolis - France.
    >> .pdf file to download (6.35 Mo)
  2. Y. Poirette, M. Guiton, G. Huwart, D. Sinoquet, J-M. Leroy (2017), An Optimization Method for the Configuration of Inter Array Cables for Floating Offshore Wind Farm, OMAE 2017 61655.
    >> Doi: 10.1115/OMAE2017-61655


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