Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Engineering and Applied Sciences

First Advisor

Xiaoyun Shao, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Upul B Attanayake, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Pablo Gomez, Ph.D.

Fourth Advisor

Guirong Yan, Ph.D.


Clean energy, distributed real-time hybrid simulation, dynamic analysis, floating wind turbine, hybrid simulation, wind energy


Floating wind turbine (FWT) has a significant role in producing clean and sustainable energy in unlimited spaces with more steady wind and less cost. The design, construction, and safe operation of FWTs require a deep understanding of their dynamic responses under combined aerodynamic and hydrodynamic loads. Conventional FWT model experiments utilize wave tanks and wind tunnels. However, laboratory size and capacity and the scaling conflicts between the Froude and the Reynold numbers in these coupled wind-wave loading tests impose challenges to replicate dynamic responses of FWT. Alternatively, real-time hybrid simulation (RTHS), which combines numerical simulation and physical experiment of FWT substructures, was proposed to achieve more realistic FWT's responses by addressing the scaling conflict. To further advance the RTHS method, distributed RTHS (dRTHS) is proposed, developed, and validated in this research, which leverages available geographically distributed wind tunnels and wave tanks with network communications to perform large-to-full-scale FWT experiments. To achieve this object, the equation of motion (EOM) of a prototype Tension-Leg Platform (TLP) FWT structure subjected to the coupled aerodynamic and hydrodynamic loads was established first and verified against the published results. Then the substructural formula was derived by partitioning the EOM into two equations representing the wind turbine tower and the floating platform substructures that would be loaded in wind tunnels and wave tanks in dRTHS. Using the existing dRTHS testing platform developed for earthquake engineering, numerical simulation of dRTHS (virtual dRTHS or vdRTHS) was carried out for four coupled loading cases to validate the FWT model, the substructuring approach, the network communication, and its delay consideration. Meanwhile, a six-degree-of-freedom (DOF) loading platform and a six-DOF loadcell were acquired and integrated into the existing platform. dRTHS experiments were then conducted on the physical tower and the numerical platform substructures. Dynamic responses obtained from both the vdRTHS and dRTHS match well with the reference responses, demonstrating that the proposed dRTHS experimental method and the corresponding testing platform can provide an effective alternative testing method for FWT.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access