PhD position: Wave prediction for vessel operation near offshore wind turbines

Inspection and maintenance of offshore wind turbines is largely performed by auxiliary vessels, connecting to the transition piece to allow a technical crew to access the turbine. The connection of such vessels with the monopiles is performed during so-called boat landings. The positioning of the vessel and the landing itself is a difficult operation which is only allowed if a number of conditions are fulfilled with respect to sea state, (tidal) current, wind and visibility, which implies that the operating window may be very narrow. While the safety of the vessel and the technical crew are the first concern, the efficiency of such operations and the fuel consumption are of importance as well. In this PhD, an accurate description will be provided of the environmental forces acting on the auxiliary vessel, i.e. wind, waves and currents, and the behaviour of the vessel under such conditions. This will be done by:

  • Numerical simulation techniques in the circumference of the monopile,
  • Experimental techniques by performing large scale physical model tests in the Coastal and Ocean Basin (COB) in Ostend and
  • simulation of the performance of the vessel.

Emphasis is on the influence of the pile to the turbulent, irregular, and possibly strong wind fields, wave fields and tidal currents. Particularly in case of monopiles with large diameter (10m and more), interference of the wave field due to reflection and diffraction will play a role.

Application deadline is 31st May

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