DIGIFLOAT is claimed to be the world’s first digital twin software intended for floating offshore wind applications
The US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) has awarded $3.6m (£2.9m) funding to a consortium headed by Principle Power to develop, validate and operate new digital twinning software designed for offshore wind operations.
The DIGIFLOAT is claimed to be the world’s first digital twin software designed for floating offshore wind applications.
WindFloat Atlantic is the first floating wind farm in continental Europe
The digital twin model will be a real-time numerical representation of the WindFloat Atlantic (WFA) Project, the first floating wind farm in continental Europe being developed off the coast of northern Portugal.
Principle Power CEO João Metelo said: “We are at the beginning of an exciting new era for floating wind and proud to be part of a team that is developing digital innovations that will help accelerate the deployment of the technology around the world.
“This grant will be instrumental in ensuring that the game-changing WindFloat technology can benefit from innovations that achieve greater efficiency and design optimization, which will make it increasingly competitive in terms of cost and performance.”
In addition to Principle Power, the project consortium comprises Akselos, the American Bureau of Shipping, the University of Washington-Applied Physics Laboratory, the University of California Berkeley, US Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division, and EDP Renewables North America Offshore.
Principle Power R&D lead and project principal investigator Sam Kanner said: “Insights from the digital twin model we build and validate will give designers, operators, and other stakeholders greater understanding into WFA’s performance and operation, leading to less downtime, lower operational costs and better predictive capabilities.
“Using the software on a full-scale floating offshore wind turbine in a dynamic, offshore environment enables us to create superior, next-generation designs by closing the design feedback loop on a real-world project.”
The funding forms part of the Aerodynamic Turbines Lighter and Afloat with Nautical Technologies and Integrated Servo-control (ATLANTIS) programme, which was created by the Department of Energy to develop new floating offshore wind turbines by maximising their rotor-area-to-total-weight ratio while maintaining or increasing generation efficiency.
The programme also seeks to develop s new generation of computer tools to facilitate floating offshore wind turbine (FOWT) design; and collect real data from full and lab-scale experiments to validate the FOWT designs and computer tools.
Last year, Aker Solutions acquired a minority stake in floating wind power technology company Principle Power.