This paper presents performance requirements for a real-time hybrid testing system to be suitable for scale-model floating wind turbine experiments. In the wave basin, real-time hybrid testing could be used to replace the model wind turbine with an actuation mechanism, driven by a wind turbine simulation running in parallel with, and reacting to, the experiment. The actuation mechanism, attached to the floating platform, would provide the full range of forces normally provided by the model wind turbine. This arrangement could resolve scaling incompatibilities that currently challenge scale-model floating wind turbine experiments.

In this paper, published experimental results and a collection of full-scale simulations are used to determine what performance specifications such a system would need to meet. First, an analysis of full-scale numerical simulations and published 1:50-scale experimental results is presented. This analysis indicates the required operating envelope of the actuation system in terms of displacements, velocities, accelerations, and forces. Next, a sensitivity study using a customization of the floating wind turbine simulator FAST is described. Errors in the coupling between the wind turbine and the floating platform are used to represent the various inaccuracies and delays that could be introduced by a real-time hybrid testing system. Results of this sensitivity study indicate the requirements — in terms of motion-tracking accuracy, force actuation accuracy, and system latency — for maintaining an acceptable level of accuracy in 1:50-scale floating wind turbine experiments using real-time hybrid testing.

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