We are happy to report that our paper on the preliminary design of the SpiderFLOAT legs and cables has now been published in Ocean Engineering. In this article, we present an innovative structural beam theory that is being used in the optimization of the SpiderFLOAT components. We are excited to confirm the structural efficiency of the concept that has now been proven at least on paper. The cables provide both the functional shape to the substructure as well as the necessary leg pre-compression. Therefore, the legs are extremely slender and easy to fabricate with conventional reinforced concrete manufacturing techniques. The stem, however, must withstand the tower base loads, which can be substantial if not contained with proper control, and additional pre-stressing may be required.
Unfortunately, the journal editing team failed to fix a few typesetting errors. For a corrected version of the manuscript see here.
Within the USFLOWT project, we are collaborating with NREL, Colorado School of Mines, University of Colorado Boulder, University of Virginia, and ABS to bring the SpiderFLOAT closer to a prototype stage. The research team is developing innovative control strategies, which involve both turbine and substructure, to reduce loads on the platform thereby keeping its mass and footprint small. One critical step in the commercialization of the SpiderFLOAT is the assessment of its costs. The team’s first estimates confirm the very competitive LCOE targets that we set out at the beginning of this project.
Stay tuned for more updates.