Gigantic Offshore Wind-turbine Testing in Progress  

Posted by Big Gav in , , ,

Renewable Energy World has an update on efforts to encourage larger wind turbines for offshore wind power (and floating offshore wind power) - Gigantic Offshore Wind-turbine Testing in Progress.

In the course of the next five years, the HiPRWind (High Power, High Reliability Offshore Wind Technology) project will lay the foundations for delivery of a complete, fully functional offshore wind-turbine with a generating capacity of 10 – 20 MW. For comparison, modern wind–turbine capacities lie between 300 kW and 6 MW. ...

Plenty of Power

As well as developing a concept for a 10 – 20 MW turbine, the members of the project are also looking at how the units of a huge floating wind-farm far out to sea can be interconnected, and connected to the electricity grid ashore.

The advantages of locating wind-turbines offshore are well known. A better wind regime is the first of these; it simply blows harder out at sea. Next, larger schemes can be built; a single North Sea block of 60 x 60 km is capable of producing more electricity than all Norway’s hydropower plants combined, while ten blocks could supply enough electric power for the whole of Europe.

The problem is: how to do it? Wind-turbines are already standing in shallow water off the UK and Denmark. But in the future, coastal sites are going to become more crowded, and both environmental and resource considerations will mean that these installations will have to be located further from the coast. ...

Wind Energy in Norway -- Updates

Three potential concepts for wind energy generation are currently under development in Norway: Hywind and Sway are based on turbines mounted on monotowers moored to the seabed, while Wind-Sea has three rotors mounted on a floater in the form of an equilateral triangle. Hywind has been in operation since 2009, while the other two are still at the model stage. Hywind is moored off Karm√ły in southwestern Norway, but as it is owned by Statoil it cannot be used for tests by research institutes.

SINTEF has a high level of expertise in wind-power, including offshore, and some ten researchers at SINTEF Energy Research work full-time in this field. When the Research Council of Norway set up eleven centres of research on environmentally friendly energy, SINTEF Energy Research was allocated the management of the Nowitech and Cedren centres. Nowitech focuses on offshore wind technology, while Cedren’s contribution is to the development and dissemination of environmentally friendly designs.

As a result, Nowitech in Trondheim and Norcowe in Bergen were given funding last year to build a floating test turbine that will gather data and test a number of different designs. They will also build a floating station for measurements of wind and waves.

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