Significant research in the field of Floating Offshore Wind Turbine (FOWT) rotor aerodynamics has been documented in literature, including validated aerodynamic models based on Blade Element Momentum (BEM) and vortex methods, amongst others. However, the effects of platform induced motions on the turbine wake development downstream of the rotor plane or any research related to such areas is rather limited. The aims of this paper are two-fold. Initially, results from a CFD-based Actuator Disc (AD) code for a fixed (non-surging) rotor are compared with those obtained from a Blade Element Momentum (BEM) theory, as well as previously conducted experimental work. Furthermore, the paper also emphasises the effect of tip speed ratio (TSR) on the rotor efficiency. This is followed by the analysis of floating wind turbines specifically in relation to surge displacement, through an AD technique implemented in CFD software, ANSYS Fluent®. The approach couples the Blade Element Theory (BET) for estimating rotating blade loads with a Navier Stokes solver to simulate the turbine wake.
With regards to the floating wind turbine cases, the code was slightly altered such that BET was done in a transient manner i.e. following sinusoidal behaviour of waves. The AD simulations were performed for several conditions of TSRs and surge frequencies, at a constant amplitude. Similar to the fixed rotor analysis, significant parameters including thrust and power coefficients, amongst others, were studied against time and surge position. The floating platform data extracted from the AD approach was compared to the non-surging turbine data obtained, to display platform motion effects clearly. Data from hot wire near wake measurements and other simulation methods were also consulted.