Mobile Offshore Platform for Wind Turbine Power Generation

Period of Performance: 07/08/2010 - 10/15/2012


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Applied Physical Sciences Corp.
475 Bridge Street Suite 100
Groton, CT 06340
Principal Investigator


The Department of Defense (DOD) would benefit from a persistent mobile power generating capability to support global deployments, remote basing, and disaster relief. Eliminating the need for fuel transport over long distance, a towable floating wind turbine could provide a persistent power source. The most robust configuration for this concept is an unmoored free-floating design. Such a mobile free-floating wind turbine platform could represent a significant benefit to DOD operations, but also has associated technical challenges. The main challenges include platform stability, seakeeping, transport, convertibility, and dynamic positioning. Of these challenges, the most difficult is stationkeeping, as wind turbine power generation is necessarily accompanied by large aerodynamic drag. Use of standard propulsion to overcome this drag for stationkeeping can result in a net power loss under a range of conditions. To overcome this paradox we have designed a stationkeeping wind turbine platform concept which uses novel wave-driven passive propulsors. The Phase I effort evaluated and refined the propulsor design through simulation and analysis. Continuing effort in Phase II will experimentally test the passive propulsion stationkeeping, both on the component level and as an integrated wind turbine platform prototype.