The Belgian offshore wind zone is expanding, with 2.2 GW already installed and brand new zones being tendered. To ensure our place as frontrunners of wind energy in Europe and to stay on the forefront of technology trends and scientific advances, our industry needs a strong academic home base. And that is exactly what the PhairywinD project is all about: establishing a close community of nine PhD researchers from different Belgian knowledge institutes by creating an innovative training network in order to tackle the current and future challenges of the Belgian offshore wind energy sector.
These nine researchers all study their own dedicated subjects, ranging from legal issues to design optimisation and wind-wave prediction for vessel operations to high-spectral imaging for nondestructive testing and improved meteorology, and much more. What sets this multi-disciplinary and intersectoral training and research project apart is its connectivity, connecting nine Belgian knowledge institutions on the topic of offshore wind on the one hand, and linking key industrial players with Belgian research partners on the other hand. This way, once the new Belgian offshore wind zones are underway, Belgian academic support, knowledge and input will be guaranteed.
The PhairywinD project is funded by the Energy Transition Fund of FPS Economy, runs for five years and hosts 10 partners. Ghent University leads the consortium. Our organization will contribute to the project by studying the fluid-structure interaction of large wind turbines. Our goal is to quantify how wind turbines blades and structure vibrates when subjected to a realistic wind. For that purpose, we develop numerical simulations into a multi-physics framework that can handle both the aerodynamics and the wind turbine structure.