Wind power, especially offshore, is considered one of the most promising sources of 'clean' energy towards meeting the EU and UK targets for 2020 and 2050. Deployment of wind turbines in constantly increasing water depths has raised the issue of the appropriate selection of the most suitable support structures' options. Based on experience and technology from the offshore oil and gas industry, several different configurations have been proposed for different operational conditions. This paper presents a methodology for the systematic assessment of the selection of the most preferable, among the different configurations, support structures for offshore wind turbines, taking into consideration several attributes through the widely used multi-criteria decision making method TOPSIS (Technique for Order Preference by Similarity to Ideal Solution) for the benchmarking of those candidate options. An application comparing a monopile, a tripod and a jacket, for a reference 5.5 MW wind turbine and a reference depth of 40 m, considering multiple engineering, economical and environmental attributes, will illustrate the effectiveness of the proposed methodology.
- multi-criteria decision making
- offshore wind turbines
- TOPSIS method
- tripod offshore support structure