LEANWIND Floating Wind Turbine Showcased in Ireland

Performance of LEANWIND’s scaled version of a floating wind turbine has been demonstrated in the wave tank of the Lir National Ocean Test Facility. 

With more than 50 experts in offshore wind energy from across Europe gathered in Cork at the end of the last month to discuss the findings of the €10 million LEANWIND project, the tank was used to show how the floating wind turbine would perform in extreme storm conditions off the west coast of Ireland.

Waves of up to 1.1m in height battered a scaled version of an offshore floating wind turbine in the test facility as part a two-day offshore wind energy conference, hosted by MaREI.

The LEANWIND project, coordinated by Jimmy Murphy of MaREI, was established to examine potential cost reductions in offshore wind energy to make it competitive with other non-renewable forms of energy generation.

Speaking at the conference, Murphy said: “The objective of the LEANWIND project is to provide cost reductions across the offshore wind farm life-cycle and supply chain, through the application of LEAN principles and the development of state of the art technologies and tools. The requirement for achieving cost reductions is stronger than ever and this is good news for LEANWIND as there is a real appetite for the innovations being developed in the project – these include autonomous robots for operations and maintenance tasks, novel vessel designs, use of virtual reality for crew training and a patent pending floating wind turbine.”

“We set out with a very broad and ambitious work programme for LEANWIND and it is very satisfying to see the project goals being achieved 3 years into the 4-year project. Much of the LEANWIND work is now well advanced following the development of new technologies, design tools and models that will help achieve cost reductions in the generation of offshore wind energy,” he added.

Ireland has a potential of up to 4.5GW of installed offshore wind capacity by 2030, according to SEAI Offshore Renewable Energy Development Plan, meaning that Ireland’s offshore wind industry alone could power 4.5 million homes per year, MaREI pointed out.

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