Wind tunnel testing in POLIMI

Mariana (ESR9), Thomas (ESR10) and Kutay (ESR12) performed wind tunnel testing of a floating wind turbine at Politecnico di Milano

Last week as part of the collaboration between the University of Oldenburg and Polimi, Mariana (ESR9), Thomas (ESR10) and Kutay (ESR12) performed wind tunnel testing in the boundary layer test section at Politecnico di Milano. For the second time this year, they measured in the Polimi’s facility the wake of a model floating wind turbine under idealized conditions (pre-defined harmonic motions and mild turbulent wind). To perform these tests, they used the MoWiTO 0.6 (Model Wind Turbine Oldenburg 0.6) mounted on a motorized platform that enables to reproduce motions of a floating turbine.

The goal of these tests was to measure the flow of air behind the model floating wind turbine for different inflow and motion conditions with high-accuracy anemometers at various downstream positions. This study enables to better understand the complex dynamics of the flow of air behind a floating offshore wind turbine (FOWT). The outcomes of the measurements will help to validate computer model of FOWT and develop new models for the description of the wake of a moving wind turbine.



This measuring campaign has been an amazing chance for collaboration between ESRs. The guys did a wonderful job planning and setting the turbine and platform so that when we got into the wind tunnel things went as smoothly as possible. The data that was gathered during the campaign is also of great value for validating engineering models used in the design process, something that we are working on as well.

The practical work is always rewarding, and I had a lot of fun in the tunnel. It is all worth it when you see the turbine dancing in the wind from the control room. We were very happy to host Thomas and the MoWiTO here at PoliMi and look forward to further working together.


Whenever we are in the wind tunnel, it is always exciting and fun. We have ideas, we test them, sometimes it works, sometimes it fails, but we always get something out of a campaign. Based on the outcomes of the past measurement campaigns in Oldenburg, we defined the tests to do in Milan in order to further investigate the wake dynamics of a floating wind turbine. We hope to observe a good match in the results between the two facilities, i.e Oldenburg and Milan and get a better understanding of the complex flow region behind a FOWT.

Personally, it was a great experience to being able to carry out measurements in Milan, even though we faced several problems this time… In the end, we were able to perform the measurements as planned. Special thanks to the technician team for the great support.


The future floating wind turbines will be deployed in clusters to ease the wind farm operations and reduce the total investment costs per single turbine. Therefore, it is crucial to understand the flow interaction between the turbines to quantify the wake losses, which have a significant effect on electricity production. Since the operating conditions of a floating wind turbine are substantially different than the conventional fixed-bottom turbines, the data that we collect from these wind tunnel experiments are valuable to update our models, which we use to estimate wind farm performance.

I enjoyed helping my colleagues Mariana and Thomas during the execution of the tests. Throughout the measurement campaign, we learned a lot about measurement techniques from the wind tunnel crew, who have been very helpful entire time.

Published on July 7, 2022 Updated on July 7, 2022