SeaTwirl Secures US Patent for Vertical Axis Turbine

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has awarded the Swedish wind power company SeaTwirl with a patent for its dynamic floating wind turbine.

The dynamic turbine can fold its blades to become flat, thus enabling it to withstand much higher wind speeds, SeaTwirl said.

This makes it possible to construct the turbine with less material and place it where there is risk of hurricanes, cyclones or typhoons, which opens up whole new markets.

A regular turbine dimensioned to withstand such extreme winds would be a lot more expensive to build, according to SeaTwirl.

The granted patent is part of the company’s strategic plan to build a broad patent portfolio and thus lay the foundation for a strong market position in the growing market for offshore wind power.

In addition to the just granted patent, the company has seven other patent applications pending in different jurisdictions.

The company also expects to secure a grant from the Swedish authorities for a patent that enables easier construction, installation and maintenance.

“It is important that we as a technology driven company continuously develop our patent strategy. This grant strengthens our patent portfolio and opens up new potential markets. In many places around the world, there is risk of typhoons, cyclones or hurricanes. This patent enables construction of turbines with less material but that are still able to withstand strong winds. In a future where extreme weather is a more common occurrence, we are very happy with being granted this patent,” said Gabriel Strängberg, CEO of SeaTwirl.

SeaTwirl launched and installed its 30kW SeaTwirl S1 prototype turbine at the Lysekil test site in 2015. The device had endured all weather conditions including heavy storms, and the company is now in the process of developing a full-scale unit – SeaTwirl S2 – a 1MW turbine planned to be completed by 2020.

SeaTwirl uses a vertical axis wind turbine (VAWT) with a tower placed on an underwater structure, which consists of a buoyancy component and a keel at its lowest point.