SEMREV+ research activities focus on the development, modelling, optimisation and testing of renewable energy systems in the marine environment (marine renewables energies including offshore wind).

The SEMREV+ team deploys a combination of experimental and numerical approaches, depending on the physical problems to tackle. In this respect its research activities are strongly linked to the SEM-REV offshore test site.

Research activities on these topics have significantly expanded in recent years and have led to the participation in (or coordination of) several national and European projects. These projects are generally highly multidisciplinary in nature, and are tackled in collaboration with other LHEEA research teams and/or other research labs in the Nantes ecosystem (GeM, LS2N and IREENA).

Research areas

Characterisation, assessment and prediction of energy resources and the forcing of complex oceanic environments

SEMREV+ works on wind-wave interaction characterisation through combined LES-HOS numerical tools and full-scale measurements (LiDAR scanning in particular). The signature of wave forcing on atmospheric flow, the potential modification of atmospheric turbulence and its consequences on offshore wind potential can thus be investigated.

Simulations LES des interactions vent-vague en présence d’une houle régulière : Iso-contours de critère Q colorés par la vorticité

LES computations of air-sea interactions with regular waves: Q Iso-contours colored with vorticity

The characterisation of wind resources in deep waters is also investigated through two different actions: error quantification of atmospheric turbulence intensity measured by a floating LiDAR system and characterisation of the wind resource on the SEM-REV offshore test site by the combination of spatially-distributed, floating or fixed, instruments.

MATILDA project © J.Vapillon - AKROCEAN

SEMREV+'s expertise with met-ocean models (ERA5 and HOMERE) allows for a positive contribution to pluridisciplinary actions for which the team is particularly called upon.

Additionally, research activities are performed on short-term wave prediction in order to integrate this information into the predictive control strategies of marine energy converters (wave or floating wind energy).

Numerical and experimental modelling of offshore wind energy converters

SEMREV+ undertakes some research activities on the multidisciplinary topic of floating wind.

  • Wave-structure interaction: SEMREV+ uses and develops new numerical approaches based on CFD tools and validation through wave tank testing. The hydrodynamic behaviour of floater heave plates and the hydro-elastic behaviour of floating wind turbines are also investigated in the framework of two European projects (FLOAWER and FLOATECH).
  • Wind-structure interactions: SEMREV+ works on the development of numerical tools that simulate rotor aerodynamics, in order to integrate them into advanced floating wind turbine simulators. Additionally, some experimental studies on floating wind turbine wake properties are performed in collaboration with the DAUC team.  Some modifications of the current wind turbine wake models are foreseen to take into account the signature of the floating motion within the wake and its consequences on wake recovery. SEMREV+ will exploit LiDAR measurements performed in the wake of the floating wind turbine FLOATGEN.

Physical modeling of a floating wind turbine at reduced scale
Installation of a scanning lidar on the float of Floatgen

Measurement of the aerodynamic behaviour of a floating wind turbine wake at reduced and full scale

  • Holistic modelling of the floating wind energy system: The strategy is to couple advanced solvers that have been initially developed separately into a holistic simulator in order to perform higher-fidelity simulations of the overall system. In this approach, the Key Performance Indicator is the ratio between the result accuracy and computation time.

Example of unsteady aerohydrodynamic simulation around a vertical axis wind turbine

Device for emulating the aerodynamic forces generated by a floating wind turbine during float stability tests in a tank (SOFTWIND)

Study and optimisation of marine renewable energy converters

SEMREV+ has a strong track record on this research topic and some projects enable the team to pursue this activity, particularly in line with the regional road map on the acceleration of marine renewable energy development.

More specifically, the potential of far-offshore wind energy is studied in collaboration with the company FARWIND and the activities on wave energy are maintained thanks to a CIFRE PhD grant with the company EVER.

FARWIND project

Experimental platform

SEM-REV Offshore test site

SEM-REV is the first European site for multi-technology offshore testing that is connected to the grid. It has all the equipment - offshore and on land - to develop, test and improve energy recovery systems (mainly from wind and wave sources).

It will play a decisive role in meeting the challenge of Marine Renewable Energy development in France. It is operated by the Research Laboratory in Hydrodynamics, Energetics and Atmospheric Environment (Centrale Nantes/CNRS), with the aim of helping industrialists develop new energy production capacities.

Using the well-known expertise of Centrale Nantes in the scope of marine renewable energy, the strategy consists in building up a continuous and pragmatic approach to the testing of technologies, and offers the corresponding facilities and services from the initial proof of concept to the large scale verification of prototypes at sea. 

Projects & partnerships

The SEMREV+ team is regularly involved in collaborative projects with academic and industrial partners in France and around the world, which testifies to the strong socio-economic interest in the topics developed.

MRE Research group

The team also initiated the National Research Group: "Renewable Marine Energies" (CNRS GDR 3763 EMR).


Two of the software tools developed by the team are available in Open Source: NEMOH and HOS (HOS-OCEAN/HOS-NWT).
Published on March 27, 2017 Updated on April 9, 2021