Floating Wind Turbine Technology Development at the University of Maine

Andrew J. Goupee
Libra Assistant Professor

Mechanical Engineering
University of Maine

Friday, Feb. 23, 2018, 3:10pm
Chase 105

The State of Maine possesses a substantial offshore wind resource that if harnessed, could yield several benefits including job generation and a reduction in Maine’s dependence on fossil fuels.  Most of this wind resource is located in waters that are too deep to employ conventional fixed-bottom offshore wind technology commonly found in Europe, and as such, requires the use of novel floating technology.  Over the last decade, the University of Maine has worked to develop a floating offshore wind technology that can take advantage of Maine’s abundant offshore wind resource and be competitive with other forms of energy generation.

In this presentation, an overview of the major research activities undertaken at the University of Maine in the development of its floating offshore wind turbine technology, dubbed VolturnUS, will be discussed. This research encompasses 1:50-scale model testing in a wind/wave basin, validation of coupled aero-hydro-servo-elastic floating offshore wind turbine simulation tools, demonstration of the VolturnUS technology in the field at a 1:8-scale as well as engineering design and component testing in support of the U.S. Department of Energy-funded Aqua Ventus I Demonstration Project which aims to deploy two 6 MW floating wind turbines off the coast of Maine. Various lessons learned through this technology development process will be discussed using supporting experimental data and numerical simulation results. The talk will conclude with the current status of floating wind turbine technology development at the University of Maine.


Dr. Andrew Goupee is the Libra Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Maine. Andy received his bachelor's, master's, and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Maine and immediately began working at the UMaine Composites Center. When he first started, Andy was in charge of the DeepCwind Model Test Program and went on to work on design and modeling of the VolturnUS 1:8.