In today’s energy scenario dominated by the need to develop new methods of generating electricity, energy-intensive infrastructures are a promising solution towards energy self-sufficiency and environmental sustainability. Floating offshore wind turbine represents one of the major solution to exploit renewable energies. Currently, the increase of offshore wind market opens up the possibility of integrating different technologies to take advantage of marine energy potential, in particular wave energy.
This work presents a new wave-wind hybrid floating platform with three Oscillating Water Columns (OWC) integrated in a floating offshore wind spar buoy. The design methodology is described showing the size of geometric characteristics of OWCs and the size of the energy conversion system. The hybrid system is investigated by a time-domain model that integrates the wind turbine model, the hydrodynamics of the floater, the thermodynamics of the OWC air chambers, and the damping effect induced by the OWC air turbine. The thermo-aero-hydro coupled numerical framework is described to highlight the implementation of the thermodynamic model in WEC-Sim/MATLAB environment. Specifically, the water column dynamics are solved as pistonrigid body representation, enabling the time-domain analysis of the OWC dynamic behaviour. Impulse turbines are considered as OWC Power Take-Offs (PTO). The resource scenario of Mediterranean Sea is considered as case study, in terms of both wind and wave conditions. The analysis focuses on the power extraction capabilities of the OWCs and on the impact of OWCs on the productivity of the wind turbine. Further developments on multi-objective design tools and on optimal PTO control design aiming power maximisation could be conducted for hybrid energy platforms based on this established numerical framework.