Investigating the Advantages of 2D Catenary Analysis in Offshore Wind Turbine Mooring

What is Catenary Analysis?

As we work to lower our reliance on fossil fuels, offshore wind is an increasingly significant source of renewable energy. Mooring devices are frequently used to anchor these turbines to the seabed. But because the systems must be able to withstand powerful environmental forces, creating and installing mooring systems for offshore wind turbines is challenging.

Catenary analysis considers the cable’s weight, its tension, and the impacts of wind, waves, and currents on the cable. The behaviour of the cable can be predicted in a variety of circumstances, such as when its weight changes or the forces operating on it change direction, by visualising the cable as a 2D curve.

Advantages of this approach include:

1. Increased precision 

Predicting how the mooring system will behave in various scenarios is crucial when we consider the range of forces acting on the anchor lines.  Catenary analysis can be used to make predictions about how the mooring will  perform in certain circumstances,  informing the design to ensure that it can withstand the stresses it will encounter. Since wind turbines are often located in close proximity, catenary analysis can help to manage complex cross-mooring configurations to avoid obstructing other lines.

2. Reducing the likelihood of failure

Since offshore wind turbines are frequently installed in challenging locations, their mooring systems must be capable of withstanding extreme and unpredictable external forces. The mooring system can be improved by identifying potential weak points in the system using a 2D catenary analysis model. In addition to ensuring the safety of the turbine and its surroundings, this can assist reduce the likelihood that the mooring system will fail.

3. Time and money savings

The design and installation of a mooring system for an offshore wind turbine needs a lot of time and effort. Engineers can speed up the design and testing of systems by using 2D catenary analysis. This can assist in lowering the mooring system’s design and setup costs, which might be significant.

Analysis can also assist during installation, where changes can be managed to avoid delays and minimise risk.

4. Improving the efficiency of operations

Ensuring that the turbine remains stable and in the proper location even in harsh weather by creating the best mooring system available will allow the system to  function more effectively.

Our Wincat catenary analysis tool is widely used in the design and operation of complex mooring and towing scenarios

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