A multidisciplinary consortium of six private and public organisations from five European countries, led by the French wind power specialist ASAH LM, will develop an innovative concept of floating wind turbine on GustoMSC's Tri-Floater.
Other members include: SSP Technology the Danish leading blade manufacturer, Fraunhofer IWES the German Institute for Wind Energy in charge of the drive train, GustoMSC the Dutch designer of mobile offshore units, ECN the Dutch energy research Institute and the Italian University Politecnico di Milano for wind tunnel testing.
This ground-breaking technology of floating wind turbine results from three major conclusions:
- Vertical axis rotors are more suited to the movement of a floater than conventional horizontal axis wind turbines;
- Pitched blades are mandatory to control the rotational speed in extreme winds and improve the aerodynamic efficiency;
- Braceless semi-submersibles provide the most cost-effective architecture of floater in terms of construction, inspection and maintenance.
Floating turbines are expected to deliver a lower cost of electricity than the conventional offshore turbines on fixed foundations because of higher wind speeds far from shore, lower installation costs (more operations being done onshore) and the absence of subsea constructions. Furthermore, floating offshore is environmental-friendly and less disruptive to fishery, navigation, tourism and hardly visible from the coast.
"We believe that the compelling advantages of SPINFLOAT and the quality of the initial consortium will attract local companies from coastal regions to create new jobs and participate to what we believe is a game-changer and a new standard for the floating offshore wind industry" says Alain Delsupexhe, founder and President of ASAH LM.
"The combination of the expertise of our partners from the wind industry with our offshore experience forms a strong team. GustoMSC will design a reliable and cost-effective Tri-Floater to support this revolutionary new turbine." says Nils Van Nood, President and CEO of GustoMSC.
Press Release, April 17, 2014; Image: gustomsc