UMass Amherst Researchers Receive $317,732 NSF Grant for Project on Wind Energy Technology

Sanjay Arwade
Sanjay Arwade

AMHERST, Mass. – A project two University of Massachusetts Amherst researchers in civil and environmental engineering are spearheading has received a $317,732 grant from the National Science Foundation’s Grant Opportunities for Academic Liaison with Industry (GOALI) program in collaboration with Texas A&M, UC Davis and UMass Dartmouth.

The project involves research that Sanjay Arwade and Don DeGroot have been performing to develop models for loading placed on multiline ring anchors subjected to wind, waves and other forces as part of an offshore wind development. A Multiline Ring Anchor (MRA) is a ring-shaped anchor designed to be deeply embedded in offshore soils for the purpose of anchoring multiple floating platforms.

The increase in offshore development in wind energy, wave energy and aquaculture sectors requires multiple closely spaced platforms that need an omnidirectional anchor. The configuration being developed by Arwade and DeGroot differs from typical oil and gas installation for floating drilling platforms and would allow for the sharing of anchors among multiple platforms, which would reduce costs for materials, fabrication and installation.

To develop this, the research team will create models for the loading placed on anchors from wind, waves and other forces; perform reduced-scale centrifuge tests to provide data on the behavior of MRA systems under these loads; and develop numerical models to assess the behavior of the anchors under multiple loading scenarios.

The researchers will be partnering with Vryhof Anchors, based in the Netherlands, to ensure that results are driven by industry needs and can move rapidly to further industry-driven technology development.