Update: European Patent Office Nods to SeaTwirl

The European Patent Office (EPO) has granted SeaTwirl a patent for a dynamic floating offshore wind turbine.

According to SeaTwirl, the dynamic turbine can fold its blades to become flat, thus enabling it to withstand much higher wind speeds, which enables its construction with less material and placing it where there is risk of hurricanes, cyclones or typhoons.

The patent is part of the same patent family as the one the US authorities approved in April.

“The granted patent is part of our strategic plan to build a broad patent portfolio and thus laying the foundation for a strong market position in the growing market of floating offshore wind power,” said Gabriel Strängberg, SeaTwirl CEO.

Recently, SeaTwirl won a Seal of Excellence from EU’s Horizon 2020 programme and has been granted funding of SEK 500,000 (around EUR 50,000) from Vinnova’s Runners-Up programme.

Vinnova’s programme is a complement to the EU programme EIC SME Instrument, which the EU instituted as part of the Horizon 2020 to specifically support innovation in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

The EU programme has three phases, where the first two provide funding for project development and the third functions as a business accelerator.

SeaTwirl applied for the first phase, which provides funding of EUR 50,000, and submitted an application which received a Seal of Excellence. Since there was no money left in the programme, in order to further support innovation in SME companies, Vinnova instituted a Runners-Up programme, a fund for applications which have been given a Seal of Excellence, from which the company received the grant.

“It is very pleasing that our application was well received and that we have been granted funding from Vinnova. We now feel very well positioned ahead of phase 2 of the programme where the funding ranges from 0.5-2.5 million Euro,Strängberg said .

SeaTwirl is developing a floating 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.

Its 30kW SeaTwirl S1 prototype turbine was launched and installed 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.

Photo: Image source: SeaTwirl