Wind in the pales of an offshore wind turbine


Precise wind characterisation, a crucial parameter for ORE

Precise knowledge of winds: a necessity for the ORE development

The definition and optimal design of ORE projects requires an accurate knowledge of atmospheric flow properties such as the spatial and temporal variability of wind at turbine mast height, its vertical shear, or the intensity and structure of turbulence. These parameters are used at several levels, in particular for:

  • estimating the wind energy resource at a given site;
  • optimizing electricity production and reducing turbine wear;
  • estimating loadings on wind turbines including extreme loadings for system survivability in storm conditions and average loadings for fatigue design;
  • offshore installation of ORE systems as well as operations and maintenance.

Generally speaking, wind conditions can be obtained through in-situ measurements at the site of interest, satellite observations, numerical simulations… However, regional and local effects are important, especially for coastal domains and continental seas where atmospheric conditions are strongly modified by the topography of the surrounding regions. France Energies Marines has been conducting R&D projects for several years, with the main players in the wind energy sector, on wind fields at different spatial scales. The Institute is also studying the feasibility of developing an offshore research platform dedicated to offshore wind energy (FOWRCE SEA Project).

A multi-criteria approach for the selection of floating offshore wind sites

An Interreg project to assess the potential of the European Atlantic Area for the deployment of floating wind turbines is currently underway (ARCWIND project). It proposes a multi-criteria approach to the selection of wind farm locations, involving different technology developers. France Energies Marines contributes scientifically to this project through the improvement of the representation of storm sea states in the North-East Atlantic.

Precise wind characterisation to better evaluate the resource

France Energies Marines is coordinating a collaborative project whose objective is to improve wind characterisation in order to reduce uncertainties in resource assessment and wind turbine design (CARAVELE project). This project focuses on the joint exploitation of modelled wind fields and in-situ and satellite observations. The coupling effects between the ocean and the atmosphere through the effect of breaking waves on wind lifting over them are also studied. Experiments conducted in the University of Miami test tank will improve the restitution of extreme winds for wind turbine design using satellite images.

A better understanding of the interactions between sea and atmosphere

A new collaborative project will be launched at the initiative of France Energies Marines to set up a dedicated digital chain capable of accurately simulating wind, wave and current conditions in the Gulf of Lion in the Mediterranean (CASSIOWPE project). This area will host three pilot farms and several commercial floating wind farms in the short and medium term. The project will focus on improving the capability of numerical models coupling the sea and the atmosphere to capture wind, wave and circulation conditions in the difficult and specific conditions of the Gulf of Lion. The numerical tools will be intensively validated using existing in-situ and satellite data. A database of metocean conditions in the Gulf of Lion will thus be proposed. This database will provide estimates of the wind resource and the aerodynamic and hydrodynamic constraints to be considered in the design of floating wind turbines.

Photo credit: Alba Fotos / Pixabay


In progress


Adaptation and implementation of floating wind energy conversion technology for the Atlantic Region

In progress


Wind characterisation for offshore renewable energies applications

In progress


Characterising the atmosphere and sea surface interactions for the deployment of offshore wind in the Gulf of Lion

In progress


Future offshore wind research center at sea



Assessment of the Mediterranean observational data system for targeted applications


Coordination and participation in expert panels on ORE

Resource and site characterisation

Training in the field of offshore renewable energies


Maxime Thiebaut

Maxime Thiébaut

Metocean Data Analysis Researcher

Jean-François Filipot

Jean-Francois Filipot

Scientific and Technical Director


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