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MAS540 Offshore Wind Engineering

Course description for academic year 2022/2023

Contents and structure

There is significant global interest for harnessing renewable energy from the Earth’s oceans. With Europe’s greatest wind-resource, it is no surprise that offshore wind energy is a key area of research and development in Norway. Yet the limited access to shallow-water locations is driving a push to floating platforms, posing new technological and logistical challenges. Other marine energy conversion methods are also possible, with continued interest in tidal stream and wave energy.

This module is intended to give an in-depth overview of ocean renewable energy devices, focussing on applied knowledge for the design and operation of marine energy devices. The intended learning outcomes are to provide the student with a broad understanding of the physical processes in conversion of resource into power output, along with an appreciation of the economic, environmental and legislative constraints. The module aims to equip students for future roles in industry and academia related to ocean renewable energy.


  • Introduction to renewable ocean energy - an overview and history of ocean energy conversion methods, the market, costs, legislation and current trends.
  • Met-ocean characteristics
  • Offshore wind energy: turbine types, fundamentals of operation, airfoils and blades, blade-element momentum theory, device- and farm-scale flow phenomena. Floating wind foundations, installation and maintenance, logistics and decommissioning, environmental impact.
  • Tidal energy: barrages vs. current, device concepts, channel flow, effects of a free-surface, turbulence, fluctuating loads.
  • Wave energy: basic conversion principles, device design, control strategies and designing for survivability.

Learning Outcome

A student who completes the course in MAS312 should be able to:


  • Qualitatively describe the wind, wave and tidal resource and understand appropriate quantitative statistical models.
  • Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of various ocean energy technologies, distinguish their respective advantages and disadvantages and communicate underlying physical limits and scientific theories.
  • Appreciate current challenges with respect to design, installation and guidelines, and appreciate their implications in a wider engineering context.
  • Apply industry-standard tools and engineering concepts for accessing device performance and viability.


  • Calculate power output and loads for typical marine energy devices.
  • Combine resource data with power calculations for estimating energy yield.
  • Application and development of relevant industry software and computational engineering tools for device design and analysis.
  • Conduct laboratory investigations on model-scale devices and evaluate laboratory findings, discussing sensitivities in concise technical reports.
  • Creative use of knowledge in order to formulate own solutions, designs and configurations to satisfy economical and physical considerations.

General competence

  • Technical report writing and advanced computational skills.
  • Clear use of correct scientific notation and writing of complex calculations and derivations.
  • Ability to work in groups and individually.

Entry requirements


Recommended previous knowledge

MAS123: Energy: Consumption, sources and technology.

MAS220: Introduction to fluid mechanics.

Basic knowledge in Matlab or similar software.

Teaching methods

Lectures based on slides and literature sources. Guest lectures from relevant industry and academia. Lab exercises in MarinLab.

Compulsory learning activities

Three compulsory written group reports

  • Three written laboratory reports.
  • Compulsory attendance during group work.


Written exam, 4 hours.

Place and time will be announced on Studentweb.

Grade scale A-F, where F is a fail.

Examination support material

Scientific calculator and formulary. General formulary is attached to the exam.

All types of scientific calculators allowed.

More about examination support material

Course reductions

  • MAS312 - Fornybar havenergi - Reduction: 10 studypoints