X1 Wind’s Floating Prototype Delivers First Power Offshore Canary Islands
X1 Wind has announced that its floating offshore wind turbine prototype delivered first power to PLOCAN’s smart grid in the Canary Islands, Spain.
First Power was fed from the prototype, installed at a 50-metre water depth in a downwind configuration, into PLOCAN’s offshore platform smart grid via a 1.4-kilometre subsea cable connected to a 20 kV transformer.
X1 Wind said that the milestone marks the world’s only floating wind platform currently installed with a TLP mooring system, which reduces environmental footprint and improves compatibility with other sea uses. It further heralds Spain’s first floating wind prototype to export electricity via a subsea cable, according to X1 Wind.
Local teams will now enter the last phase of a test and verification programme which started with the platform installation in November 2022, in preparation for the technology industrialization for commercial-scale projects currently under development.
“Once installed we carried out the first round of testing without power, to validate the hydrodynamic behaviour of the platform and survivability in severe storm conditions. Now generating power, we’ve commenced a second phase to assess the floater behaviour during operation. This all forms part of X1 Wind’s extensive testing verification programme to fully validate the platform in real world operational conditions and de-risk our technology”, said Adrian Oliva, X1 Wind’s Electrical Engineering Manager.
The X30 platform is equipped with a specially adapted V29 Vestas Turbine and ABB power converter.
Developed through the EU-backed PivotBuoy Project, the platform combines the advantages of SPM and TLP mooring systems.
The proprietary SPM design enables the floater to “weathervane” passively and maximise energy yields, X1 Wind said, with an electrical swivel ensuring electricity transfer without cable twisting.
The TLP mooring system also reduces the seabed footprint, compared to traditional designs proposing catenary mooring lines, minimising environmental impact while maximising compatibility with other sea uses, in addition to its suitability to move into deeper waters, X1 Wind said.
“The novel X30 platform is equipped with all the electrical systems that the commercial platforms will contain, including a commercial turbine, power converter, transformer, slip-ring and dynamic cable as well as our in-house SCADA system with multiple sensors to control and monitor the platform’s behaviour in real-time. All this data is being fed into our commercial scale design which is advancing fast working closely with certification body DNV”, said Oliva.
The PivotBuoy Project is planned to officially come to a close on 31 March 2023, but X1 Wind has requested an extension of the testing period until May before decommissioning the prototype as foreseen in the EU-funded project.
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