Efficient Modeling of Floating Wind Arrays Including Current Loads and Seabed Bathymetry: Paper No. IOWTC2023-119447

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Capabilities for modeling the effects of seabed bathymetry and current drag loads on a floating wind farm are now available in an open-source model for quasi-static analysis. In this model, mooring lines and dynamic cables are represented by a quasi-static solver that can quickly represent complex mooring/cabling arrangements and arrays of floating bodies. To account for seabed bathymetry, we expand the model to include a surface mesh that captures changes in water depth over a rectangular grid. We formulate modifications to the catenary equations that capture a mooring line's profile and tensions when contacting a slope seabed. To account for current drag loads on mooring lines and dynamic cables, we formulate a novel technique that rotates the reference frame so that the vector sum of the the weight and the current force are used in the catenary equations, while accounting for the seabed orientation. To complete the system, current drag loads on floating substructures are handled by inclusion of strip-theory drag calculations. These new capabilities are verified by comparing with results from the established offshore dynamics models MoorDyn and OrcaFlex in equivalent steady-state scenarios. The results show very good agreement for both sloped seabeds and current loads. With computation times of the quasi-static model typically under one second, the model additions are a useful capability toward rapidly evaluating a floating wind array's response to environmental loads under realistic site conditions.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages9
StatePublished - 2024
EventASME 2023 5th International Offshore Wind Technical Conference - Exeter, United Kingdom
Duration: 18 Dec 202319 Dec 2023


ConferenceASME 2023 5th International Offshore Wind Technical Conference
CityExeter, United Kingdom

Bibliographical note

See NREL/CP-5000-87475 for preprint

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5000-89202


  • bathymetry
  • current
  • drag force
  • floating wind turbine
  • mooring system
  • seabed slope


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