The objective of this paper is to present a methodology of unsteady CFD simulation of a floating offshore wind turbine (FOWT) experiencing platform motions. Based on the RANS equations and the SST α-ω turbulence model, aerodynamic simulations for a NREL 5MW turbine combined with OC3-Hywind spar buoy have been studied. The simulation results of a fixed wind turbine to verify the numerical model show relatively good agreement with NREL published data. Furthermore, based on the validation of three-dimensional CFD model the effect of typical periodic surge, pitch and yaw motions of the platform are investigated. With different periods and magnitudes of the platform motions, the aerodynamic performance of the wind turbine is demonstrated to vary dramatically. The power output performance of the turbine and the fatigue strength of structures could be significantly improved by reasonable controlling of the platform motions.

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