Researcher training constitutes a significant part of NorthWind’s activities. We are expecting 27 PhD grants to be funded by the Centre, including 10 in-kind grants by NTNU and UiO. 11 have already started.
In addition, there will be an effort as part of NorthWind to have more bachelor and master students at NTNU and UiO specialising in wind
energy (target of 200 MSc/BSc). This represents a unique recruitment base for the industry partners. Researcher training will be provided by NTNU and UiO, in cooperation with associate research partners.
PhD position in jurisprudence - offshore wind contract law
The chosen candidate will work at the Nordic Institute for Maritime Law, department for energy and resource law, which is a partner of NorthWind.
The candidate will contribute to work package 5 (WP5) in the NorthWind project on sustainable offshore wind development. The overall purpose of WP5 is to develop “tools and insights for sustainable development of wind energy to create a successful export industry, reduce cost and uncertainty, and resolve environmental and societal conflicts”. The project will form part of sub-group 1 which, among other things, focuses on contracts and business models for the development and operation of offshore wind projects, including how different solutions can contribute to innovation, cost-efficiency and circular economy (“materials circularity”).
Deadline for application: 9 September 2022
(Application i Norwegian)
Joint PhD Programme in Offshore Wind Energy
Through the NOWRIC collaboration, NTNU, SINTEF and DTU established a Joint PhD Programme in Offshore
Wind Energy to enable collaboration through co-supervision and one-year exchange of at least 4 PhD-students. NTNU and DTU also have a Joint Nordic Master’s degree programme on Innovative Sustainable Energy Engineering with a study track ‘System Integration of Wind Power’.
NorthWind Winter School
An annual meeting place where young researchers from all over the world can hear new ideas, methods and theories within the wind energy field. It will be organised in connection with the EERA DeepWind conference and will consist of a series of lectures on a selected topic given by international experts with time for the exchange of ideas and networking.
An individual research plan will be developed for each PhD candidate based on the Centre’s research needs. Collaboration groups between PhD students, supervisors, SINTEF researchers and relevant industry partners will maximise synergy and integration at task level. Research will address scientific and technical knowledge gaps to achieve the Centre’s goals. PhD students and their supervisors will present their research at leading international conferences and annual NorthWind meetings and seminars.
International Academic Networks
The Centre will facilitate and fund PhDs to stay abroad with collaborating universities. Industry partners will
provide short-term internship positions for innovation case studies. International exchange of research
personnel with academic networks and internship arrangements with the Centre’s industry partners will
contribute to knowledge exchange between the academic communities and the industry.
Meet our PhD candidates
Supervisor: Prof. Asbjørn Karlsen (NTNU)
Thesis: Harnessing Norwegian maritime industrial capabilities in the emerging US offshore wind industry
My research project examines how Norwegian offshore wind firms adapt to the particularities of the U.S. federalist institutional system, whether Norwegian firm strategies and stakeholder engagement differs depending on the locality in question, and what the implications are for Norwegian regional development. This project will focus on two Norwegian led projects in the U.S., the Empire Wind project led by Equinor in New York State, which utilizes fixed-bottom technology, and the more distant project led by Aker Solutions off the coast of California, which utilizes floating technology. Both cases will employ a mixed-method qualitative framework that draw on primary data compiled from semi-structured interviews, policy documents and newspaper articles, in addition to secondary data compiled from document analysis and databases. Theoretically, this project contributes to recent discussions within economic geography and transition studies that highlight the variegated nature of national institutions and the importance of exogenous factors in regional industrial development.
Supervisor: Prof. Adil Rasheed (NTNU), Prof. Trond Kvamsdal (NTNU), Prof. Omer San (OSU), Kjetil André Johannessen (SINTEF)
Thesis: Enabling Technologies for Digital Twins
Veronica Liverud Krathe
Supervisor: Prof. Erin Bachynski-Polić (NTNU), Prof. Amir R. Nejad (NTNU), Jason Jonkman, PhD (NREL)
Thesis: Multiscale/-fidelity wind turbine dynamics models for structural design and control
In my thesis I will investigate multiscale dynamic analysis of offshore wind turbines, with the overall objective of reducing downtime and cost, increasing the competitiveness of offshore wind. This means combining effects on farm level and single turbines and investigate the impacts of these on the drivetrain. Today’s aero-hydro-servo-elastic analysis tools simplify the drivetrain model (requiring decoupled analysis), neglect hydroelastic responses of the hull, and account for wake effects through conservative wind field models. Especially, there are some effects for larger, more flexible substructures that can be important. I will start by looking into shortcomings in state-of-the-art methods with respect to multi-fidelity modelling, and possible improvements that can be implemented in current design tools. Subsequently, key objectives are to enable more optimal control, more efficient substructure design and more efficient park layout design.
Lorrana Faria da Rocha
Supervisor: Pål Keim Olsen (NTNU), Co-supervisors: Hendrik Vansompel (UGent), Elisabetta Tedeschi (NTNU), Erik Grøndahl (SGRE)
Thesis: Power electronics architecture and control methods for a HVDC generator for offshore wind
The objective of my PhD project is to investigate suitable topologies for the converter modules and overall architecture design, as well as developing control algorithms for all operation modes of a modular HVDC generator for offshore wind energy. The proposal of a HVDC modular generator is to remove the use of the offshore substation/platform, which constitutes the energy conditioning elements for the HVDC transmission, by the connection in series of modules of a segmented HVDC generator. This modular series connection of converters has promising characteristics, such as cost reduction, increased efficiency and weight reduction. However, it is a system that has not yet been implemented commercially and needs many studies and tests to validate a practical application. Thus, the main scope of my Ph.D. study is to prove the feasibility of operating a modular HVDC generator for offshore wind energy focusing on the architecture and control of the electronic power converters.
Yannick Cyiza Karekezi
This PhD is associated with NorthWind but financed through other sources.
Supervisor: Pål Keim Olsen. Co-supervisors: Robert Nilssen (NTNU), Hendrik Vansompel (UGent), Erik Grøndahl (SGRE)
Thesis: Novel Modular HVDC Generator for Offshore Wind
In this Ph.D. project a compact and modular HVDC generator is seen as a feasible solution to higher energy efficiency and lower cost in offshore wind energy generation and distribution. By producing high DC voltage, above 100 kV, in the first conversion step, the subsequent conversion steps are eliminated. In addition, the modular structure of the HVDC generator has in-built fault tolerance capability, potentially increasing the availability of wind turbines. The drastic reduction in conversion steps due to the use of the HVDC generator may help the market to meet its goals for reducing the cost of energy from renewable energy sources. The concept may increase the benefits of HVDC power systems and make it feasible to replace parts of the HVAC system that is used today. The challenges with the technology are multidisciplinary and range from electromechanical to thermal and high voltage insulation design of the generator modules, choice of module converter topology and optimum control strategies, as well as a protection system able to clear internal DC faults within the machine. The focus of my Ph.D. study is the design of an HVDC generator for offshore wind, primarily studying electromechanical and thermal design.
Arkaitz Rabanal Alcubilla
Supervisor: Elisabetta Tedeschi (NTNU). Co-Supervisors: Salvatore D’Arco (Sintef Energy), Nicolaos Cutululis (DTU), Pål Keim Olsen (NTNU)
Thesis: Energy Storage for Grid Services in HVDC Connected Offshore Wind Farms
This PhD project will research different options to provide grid ancillary services for offshore wind power plants by means of integrating energy storage into the HVDC transmission system.
The main aim is to embed and/or exploit energy storage into the different converters in the offshore wind power plants or offshore grid, in relation to the type of grid services required. Considering suitable storage technologies, aspects such as most convenient storage location, storage sizing and control implementation will be discussed. Finally, the feasibility of the proposed control solutions is expected to be validated in a laboratory environment at the National Smart Grid Lab of NTNU, reaching the Technology Readiness Level 4.
Pankaj Ravindra Gode
Supervisor: Prof. Arild Aspelund (NTNU), Ass. Prof. Øyvind Bjørgum (NTNU)
Thesis: Circular Business Development of Offshore Wind Energy
My research is focused on the integration of circular economy (CE) with the offshore wind energy industry (OWE). Throughout the period of my research, I will be looking at different circular business models, product design strategies and CE frameworks that are compatible with the OWE industry. The initial aim of this research is to contribute its share to the development of circular practices to decommission the near end-of-life offshore wind farms in an environmental-friendly way, using the best possible waste management strategies to minimize the generated waste. However, the key focus of this research is about developing circular business models, product design strategies and CE frameworks that will allow to better design future offshore wind farms and extend their designated lifespan.
Afolarinwa David Oyegbile
Supervisor: Prof. Michael Muskulus (NTNU), Prof. Gudmund Eiksund (NTNU), Senior Researcher Anand Natarajan (DTU), Dr. Amy Robertson (NREL)
Thesis: Reliability- and data-based structural design under industrial constraints
In my project, I will look to learn from existing industrial experiences and develop a holistic framework for structural design optimization of wind turbine support structures with the aim of achieving cost effective support structures. The design process involves uncertainties in the assumptions, models and results obtained. Considering such uncertainties generally requires the use of probabilistic mathematical models that severely complicate the design optimization problem that needs to be solved. My research will consider relevant design drivers (e.g. fatigue loads and soil conditions) as well as practical issues such as installation complexity and fabrication constraints while leveraging on recent developments in gradient-based design optimization methods to address these uncertainties.
Supervisor: Prof. Tomas Moe Skjølsvold (NTNU), Ass. Prof. Robert Næss (NTNU)
Thesis: The framing of Norwegian Wind Energy futures – the cases of Svalbard and Sørlige Nordsjø II
In my project, I am to examine how wind energy is framed in Norway, which directions for development are envisioned, and which role(s) wind will play in Norwegian energy futures. I will focus on two cases – land-based wind power in Svalbard and the opening of the area Sørlige Nordsjø II for offshore wind power. The cases will be studied using a mix of qualitative methods such as interviews with various stakeholders, observations, debates in public media, and analysis of policy documents. As part of my research, I am to study territorialisation of wind power, justice aspects related to competing storylines and perceptions of burdens and benefits, as wells as how this shapes and is shaped by Norwegian identity as an energy nation.
Affiliation: NTNU, SINTEF Ocean
Supervisor: Prof. Svein Sævik (NTNU), Prof. Zhen Gao (NTNU), Senior Research Scientist Janne Gjøsteen (SINTEF Ocean)
Thesis: An approach for safe and cost-effective installation of offshore wind power cables
The power cable is an essential part of any wind turbine since the produced energy cannot be delivered without the power cable. To assure power cable functionality, the mechanical integrity of the power cable system must be assured in all phases – from cable manufacturing, through the offshore installation operation and during the operational life of the wind turbine plant. Strang-Moran (2020, Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult) has reviewed causes of cable failures in the UK offshore wind industry. She reports that nearly half (46%) of cable failures are caused by installation errors. The rest is due to manufacturing issues (31%), inadequate cable design (15%) and mechanical damage after installation (8%). In my project I will improve the simulation models for predicting cable load during installation. Also, safe limits for combined tension, torsion and bending loads are studied. This may help reduce the number of cable failures caused during installation.
Supervisor: Prof. Jørn Vatn (NTNU), Prof. Adil Rasheed (NTNU)
Thesis: Predictive Maintenance and Decision Support for Asset Management
This project is aimed at the predictive maintenance of offshore wind turbines. Predictive maintenance is a regime for optimal and timely maintenance. It predicts exactly when the system will fail and when to maintain it before the failure actually happens. Remaining useful lifetime (RUL) predictions based on sensor measurements will be the basis for research. Statistical reliability data interfaced with predictions for weather windows, operation planning and logistic resources will give support for decision making in maintenance scheduling. My research will focus on developing the hybrid model integrating machine learning methods, mathematical models, and physical-based models to predict and optimize the maintenance of offshore wind turbines.
Vibeke Hvidegaard Petersen
Supervisor: Prof. Magnus Sålhane (NTNU)
Thesis: Predictive maintenance of offshore wind turbines
Supervisor: Prof. Ivar Alvik (UiO), Associate Prof. Katrine Broch Hauge (UiO)
Thesis: Impact assessments of wind power plants
One of the goals of the FME NorthWind is to develop tools and insights for sustainable development of wind energy to create a successful export industry, reduce cost and uncertainty, and resolve environmental and societal conflicts (Work Package 5). Regulations that mandate appropriate impact assessments may contribute to achieve this goal. My plan is to review the current legislation and possibly suggest how the rules can be improved to make the process more efficient and predictable, as well as effective in mitigating conflicts.