In Norway, a new type of floating wind turbine is being tested, New technique says.
Wind conditions at sea are often excellent. However, the construction of offshore wind power a little further from the shore is limited by the depth of the water, as so far in almost all cases the foundations are being built on the seabed. Even in good wind conditions, foundations should not be built to a depth of more than 60 meters.
Therefore, floating wind turbines anchored by some kind of cable or chain are an attractive option for the open sea. These are also being developed by several companies in the Nordic countries, such as the Swedish Hexicon and Seatwirl.
Now Norwegian Wind Catching Systems has presented its own option. In the company’s concept, numerous small wind turbines are placed on a vertical wall on a semi-underwater, bottom-anchored platform. The wall can turn according to the wind.
The “wall” can accommodate 117 wind turbines, each with a rated power of one megawatt. One wall assembly is estimated to be able to generate at least 300 gigawatt hours of electricity per year, which would be enough to meet the needs of 80,000 European households.
According to the Norwegian company, a wind power wall can simultaneously reduce the production costs of offshore wind power and reduce the area of a wind farm by as much as 80 percent, which reduces landscape impacts, for example.
Wind Catching Systems also argues that the solution captures energy even better from really high wind speeds: unlike traditional power plants, it does not need to reduce production in very high winds by putting the power blades in a new position. Therefore, the annual output of a single wall would be five times that of a 15-megawatt modern but traditional model offshore wind farm.
The total height of the wind turbine wall would be about 300 meters and the width 350 meters. When pre-installed, the wall rises to about 320 meters above sea level.
The company calculates the life cycle costs of electricity for a power plant type at EUR 40–60 per megawatt hour. The functionality of the technology will be verified during this year, and the first prototype should already be delivered to the customer next year.
So far, the functionality of the whole is still a theory, but according to the company, the power plant can be built entirely from parts that are already on the store shelf today. So completely new types of components are not needed. The Norwegian engineering firm Aibel and the Norwegian Institute of Energy Technology IFE have been involved in the design work.
Source: Tivi by www.tivi.fi.
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