LR’s Abdulqadir Aziz Singapore Wala has been awarded a PhD for his research on FOWT aerodynamics, titled “Aerodynamics Modelling of Floating Offshore Wind Turbines”.

Overview of the research

  • Developing methodologies to isolate and quantify the various unsteady flow phenomena associated with FOWT aerodynamics.
  • These were then modelled semi-empirically, and applied in an unsteady blade element momentum model (uBEM) to accurately compute the aerodynamics of FOWTs even in extreme motion scenarios, increasing the range where fully-coupled analytical models can be applied for FOWTs. (When uBEM is used in place of aerodynamics models in fully coupled tools, it is expected to both perform better in predicting rotor loads, and increase the range of motions where these tools are realistically applicable)
  • The work was commended by reviewers for the well-formulated problems and methodologies, which pave the way for application of advanced data analytics and machine learning models.
  • The methodologies and the uBEM method where they were applied represent a novel approach in the industry, and can account for many of the invalid assumptions used in aerodynamics models for wind turbines in highly unsteady conditions.

Since then, Qadir has published other significant studies, including papers on the dynamic wake effect (presented at OTC in May 2017) and a modified, more universal Beddoes-Leishman model (recently published in Wind Energy)

Qadir has had a passion for wind energy since his undergraduate studies, during which he specialised in wind turbine aerodynamics, performing research that culminated in a paper on the application of aerodynamic data extraction from full-rotor CFD simulations to produce highly accurate actuator disc models applicable in whole wind farm simulation studies, presented at the ACEM 2012 conference. With the growing development of floating wind, Qadir saw the gap between present analytical aerodynamics models, and the requirement for understanding the unsteady aerodynamics of FOWTs, leading to this research topic.

The rapid expansion of the floating wind industry presents many opportunities to reduce the world’s carbon footprint, by taking advantage of the stronger and more consistent wind resource available in deep waters. However, the myriad available designs for floating platform present a challenge in ascertaining the aerodynamics and determining the best turbine designs for different deployment. Qadir’s research will prove crucial in ensuring thorough design assessment, prediction of loads, annual power production prediction, and damage accumulation studies.

Qadir will be presenting some of his recent research at the WindEurope Global Wind Summit in Hamburg in September.