Ifremer Post-Doctoral position: Numerical study of VAWT for floating application

The main goal of this postdoctoral position is to develop tools dedicated to VAWT to simulate the aerodynamic and hydrodynamic behavior of a FOWT with a vertical axis rotor.

on December 19, 2019


The recent development of Floating Offshore Wind Turbine (FOWT) opens the path for technologies of wind turbine rotors that have been put aside by the massive development of horizontal axis wind turbine (HAWT) due to their advantages in bottom fixed application. The challenge of this project is to both test numerically and experimentally the different rotor’s designs, designed for horizontal axis (HAWT) or vertical axis (VAWT) and to compare their performances on the same floater.

L’IFREMER, in collaboration with the LEGI Lab (UMR5519) in Grenoble, is developping a new concept of VAWT dedicated to the FOWT WindQuest, supported by the company HydroQuest.
A first experimental campaign performed at Ifremer Wave&Wind tank in Brest has validated the theoretical advantages of VAWT versus HAWT, advantages being low centers of gravity and thrust.

A second campaign in wind tunnel focused on the influence of the motion of the floater on the aero performances and loads of a VAWT are planned in 2020. In the wind tunnel, the motions of the floater will be simulated by actuators. Eventually, the test of a 1:10 scale demonstrator in Ste Anne testing site is planned at the end of the project, where the FOWT will be subject to real sea states and wind.

Simulation codes coupling the hydro response of the structure with the aero performance of the rotor have been developed for HAWT (FAST –HydroDyn) but are still work in progress for VAWT (CACTUS – ECN-Innosea).


The main goal of this postdoctoral position is to develop tools dedicated to VAWT to simulate the aerodynamic and hydrodynamic behavior of a FOWT with a vertical axis rotor. Two complementary approaches could be developed in this 18month position:
  • A low fidelity approach (BEM, VLM…) used for fast simulation. This tool doesn’t exist for VAWT and is dedicated to be implemented in the soft in loop simulation of the thrust emulator (electrical ducted fan) developed in the WindQuest project. This tool should allow simulating and testing different control laws or rotor geometries. It could be inspired by CACTUS from SANDIA or QBLADE from TU Berlin.
  • A high fidelity approach (CFD, URANS) for a realistic simulation of the effect of the motion of the floater on the performance of the VAWT and its interactions with the wake. For this high fidelity approach, the candidate could develop a 6DoF simulation based on the last version of openFOAM (solveur 6 DoF, overlapping mesh, sliding mesh, overset mesh)
Results of the simulation will be compared with the experimental results from the wave tank and the wind tunnel.


EMR – CFD – BEM – VAWT –FOWT - OpenFoam

Supervising staff

Based at IFREMER Wave&Wind tank, in Brest, France, part of the Marine Structure Lab the postdoc fellow will work in close relation with the team of the WindQuest project:
  • Benoît Augier, Associate Professor, IFREMER
  • Stéphane Barre, Professor CNRS, LEGI, Grenoble
  • Benoît Paillard, Ph.D ,Project Manager WindQuest, HydroQuest, Grenoble
  • Guillaume Maurice,Ph.D Research Ingineer, HydroQuest, Grenoble
  • Christophe Sicot, Associate Professor ENSMA, P’, Poitiers
Ungoing PhD:
Camil Matoug, IFREMER, Wave&Wind tank «Experimental study of the behavior at sea of a bi- rotor vertical axis FOWT »
Matthieu Guilbot, LEGI, MOST «Numerical study and aerodynamic optimization of a vertical axis bi-rotor using RANS and LES »

Eligibility criteria :

  • The post doc must have done its Master and Ph.D in a university outside Region Bretagne and Region Pays de la Loire.
  • The post doc must have spent minimum 18 month outside of France between may 1st 2016 and the start of the postdoc position.
  • The post doc must have defended its PhD in the last 4years

Professional Skills

  • Academic skills in fluids mecanics and aerodynamics
  • Academic skills in CFD and programmation
  • Experience in openFOAM will be appreciated
  • Experience in Wind Turbine, wind tunnel or wave tank test will be appreciated

Personnal skills :

  • Good relationship quality and ability to work in a team
  • Autonomy, thoroughness and method
  • dynamism


Starting date is April 2020
Laboratoire de comportement des Structures en Mer
Bassin d’essai de Brest


Minimum 2000€ Net (salary will re evaluated regarding the professional experience)


Deadline 01 avril 2020 – CV + Cover letter
+33 2 98 22 47 14
Published on December 19, 2019 Updated on March 19, 2021