Researcher: Angelo Goethals
PromoterFrederik Vandendriessche
Copromoter: Pierre-Olivier Debroux
The legal framework for (inter)connecting the Belgian offshore wind energy farms

What are the legal options and opportunities for securing and strengthening the future transmission of the electricity produced by the offshore wind energy farms. And what are the legal requirements to implement these different options? 

The short term research will focus on the legal options for connecting the second area to the Belgian onshore grid. Next, the legal challenges will be examined to interconnect existing and planned Belgian offshore infrastructure to other EU & UK transmission grids, including the most ideal legal framework to facilitate this. 

In the long term, the legal requirements and challenges to come to a fully interconnected network of wind energy farms in the North Sea will be examined. 

Researcher: Thuy-Hai Nguyen
Promoter: François Vallée
CopromoterEmmanuel De Jaeger
Risk-based Adequacy of the BE Power System with High Share of Offshore Wind Generation

This research aims to help decision-making authorities define suited investment policies to make sure there is an adequate provision of electricity within a considered transmission grid. This will be done with adequacy studies (risk-based approaches).

The research will improve the way offshore wind parks are considered within the currently used adequacy tools and will also challenge the philosophy behind those tools.

To do this, successive system states of obtained wind generation from a distinct time series will be assessed (through Monte Carlo simulation). 

Furthermore, other investigations are the traditionally used time series model, the implication of the increased distance to the onshore grid in the new parks and other advanced approaches. 

ResearcherNandar Hlaing
PromoterPhilippe Rigo
CopromoterChristof Devriendt
O&M optimisation of OWT support structures using digital twins

This research will provide a framework to optimize the Operations and Maintenance (O&M) of offshore wind turbine support structures by employing digital twins (or a virtual model). This way the model uncertainties are significantly reduced which leads to less expensive physical inspections. 

This framework will also define the optimal Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) scheme, quantifying the value of these potential SHM schemes by a pre-posterior decision analysis. 

The application of the proposed methodology will both reduce the O&M cost of existing structures and improve the design of new offshore wind turbines because model uncertainties will be better understood.

Researcher: Dominik Fallais
PromoterChristof Devriendt
Copromoter: Gunther Steenackers
Fleet-based model updating for design optimization and structural health monitoring

How about using (long-term) resonance frequency measurements to continuously update a dynamic model of a wind turbine? This research will investigate how measurements at different sites in wind farms and similarities within the fleet of wind turbines can improve the conditioning of the inverse updating problem. Rather than to update individual wind turbine models, the dynamic models of the entire fleet are simultaneously updated.

The results of this approach serve to quantifying the stiffness of the soil, which can be compared with design.  The model can also quantify the variation in soil conditions, and assess the severity thereof in the frame of Structural Health Monitoring (SHM). 

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Researcher: Ivandito Herdayanditya
PromoterPieter Rauwoens
CopromoterEvert Lataire
Local wind-wave interaction and high accuracy local wave prediction for vessel operations

This research will accurately describe all environmental forces action on auxiliary vessels (i.e. wind, waves, currents) and the behaviour of the vessel under such conditions. This will allow to simulate the motion response of the vessel and to assess the required propulsion and manoeuvring equipment to keep the vessel under control in give hydro/meteo conditions, esp. those found in the Belgian part of the North Sea.

The research will focus on 1) numerical simulation techniques in the circumference of the monopile, 2) experimental techniques by performing large scale physical model tests in the Coastal and Ocean Basin and 3) simulation of the performance of the vessel. The emphasis is on the influence of the pile to the turbulent, irregular and possibly strong wind fields, wave fields and tidal currents (esp. in case of monopiles with wide diameter)

Researcher: Younes Oudich
PromoterMichel Kinnaert
CopromoterFrederik De Belie
Multi-objective supervision system for wind farms

The aim of this research is twofold:

1) to develop a system aimed at early fault diagnosis within a wind farm: it will exploit the correlation between different turbine behaviours with info provided by individual turbine monitoring systems. This way high fault sensitivity can be achieved without suffering from false alarms.

2) the information on the state of health of each turbine will be exploited within a global supervision system for the windfarm: this system will maximize the wind farm production and ensure the ancillary services for the power system. 

The supervision strategy will be validated on a power grid/wind farm simulator. 

ResearcherFrançois Trigaux
PromoterGrégoire Winckelmans
CopromoterJoris Degroote
Scale-resolved fluid-structure interaction for load prediction and alleviation in offshore wind farms

This research will advance the state of the art in accurate prediction of the unsteady aerodynamic loads on wind turbines in offshore farms: in atmospheric boundary layer (ABL) only, and in ABL with wakes of upstream wind turbines (WT).  The prediction results will be challenged against experimental data. Load alleviation will also be proposed, combined with electrical generator modelling.

Secondary, a scale-resolved fluid structure interactions of a floating WT configuration will be performed. This is relevant to future offshore concepts, also for Belgian industry. 

ResearcherThomas De Kerf
PromoterSteve Vanlanduit
CopromoterChristof Devriendt
 Paul Scheunders 
Hyperspectral imaging for non-destructive testing of offshore wind turbines

A hyperspectral camera based non-destructive testing technique will be developed for the automated and quantitative inspection of bare and coated steel structures during manufacturing and operations. A hyperspectral camera is able to capture several tens of images over a wider wavelength range and can observe phenomena that cannot be captured by traditional cameras.

The use of this type of camera for non-destructive testing is still at its infancy. The main limitation of hyperspectral imaging is the limited spatial resolution. This research will  therefor develop an image processing technique to artificially increase this limitation. It will also deploy a technique to continuously scan over the surface of the structure in order to reduce inspection times and will apply the NDT technique to deblur images. 

Researcher: Benoit Foloppe
CopromoterJeroen van Beeck
Improving meteorology for offshore wind energy systems using open-source code WRF

Open-source code like Weather Research Forecasting (WRF) is based on ECMWF or NCAR reanalysis data. With this model, weather phenomena in the past can be reanalyzed and weather can be predicted, onshore and offshore, but with the offshore predictions of poorer quality than those onshore, since little near-field and weather balloon measurements are available for validation. 

This research will improve this by analysing data from offshore FINO masts, installed in the German part of the North Sea, which provide better modelling of the interaction between wind and waves, and the offshore-specific thermal effects (like low-level jets).