WP3 Design Optimisation
The objective of WP3 is to identify, develop, and apply multidisciplinary design optimization (MDO) strategies which are appropriate for novel floating marine structures. The developed numerical framework for exploring a wider design space, with sufficiently validated simulation tools, will enable innovative design solutions that traditional strategies may not be able to identify.
An important step in designing novel floating structures for new application areas, is to identify performance criteria which specify what would be considered the “best” design. Formulating an optimization problem requires us to quantify objectives such as cost (CAPEX and OPEX), sustainability considerations have traditionally been ignored in design optimization studies within marine technology. Having mathematically defined these objectives, existing MDO techniques can allow us to examine the trade-offs between the different objectives and identify more optimal designs. The numerical tool for different disciplines such as structures, hydrodynamics, aerodynamics and control need to be implemented in MDO frameworks – including the computation of derivatives for gradient-based optimization techniques (which are anticipated to be the best for the large number of design variables in question). The calculation of derivatives when the numerical methods depend on complex mathematics and include stochastic input requires further research. Furthermore, there are unanswered questions regarding the level of fidelity required for accurate optimization of novel floating structures.