Dutch Floating Wind Tech Developer to Test Small-Scale Prototype, Strengthens Collaboration with Japanese MOL
Dutch start-up TouchWind, the developer of a floating wind turbine with a tilting, angled one–piece rotor, is installing a small–scale prototype at Fieldlab Green Economy Westvoorne, the Netherlands, for testing that is set to start this month.
The field lab, located on the north bank of the Oostvoornse Lake in the southwest of the Netherlands, facilitates underwater and nearshore research for innovations that contribute to a green economy.
TouchWind’s prototype that is currently being installed there has a rotor diameter of 6 metres and will be tested for the installation, mooring and anchoring, as well as for the ecological impact on the location at the lake.
The turbine will be anchored with ecological hybrid anchors made by the start-up Coastruction which manufactures the anchors using 3D print technology and location-specific materials such as sand and shells from the Oostvoornse Lake. TouchWind and Coastruction recently received a EUR 75,000 grant for the demo project through the “Energie & Klimaat” programme from Innovation Quarter.
TouchWind is developing its technology together with partners VDL, NIDEC, TU Delft, We4Ce, Enersea, EJ Projects, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL), the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) and the Dutch test centre MARIN, where the company recently completed the first floater tests.
On 9 May, TouchWind also announced that it had strengthened its alliance with Japanese MOL. The two companies last year signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the joint development of floating wind technology with a primary focus on the further development of TouchWind’s one–piece rotor floating wind turbine.
Now, following the progress in developing TouchWind’s technology and the upcoming testing, the parties agreed to collaborate closer towards the next–stage development of the floating turbine.
Masayuki Sugiyama, Executive Officer responsible for Wind Power Projects Unit at MOL said: “These tests and their results will lead to the further optimization of TouchWind’s floating wind turbine concept. The achievements from the tests will raise the project to the next stage. We see great potential in this innovative concept which can realize higher utilization rate and the efficiency of wind farms as well as lower–cost wind turbines”.
For MOL, the MoU marked the second floating wind collaboration the Japanese company entered with a Dutch company last year, following its teaming up with Seawind Ocean Technology, the developer of two-bladed floating offshore wind energy systems.
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