The system uses many smaller turbines to generate more power during higher wind speeds
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Spotted: Norway’s Windcatching Systems (WCS) floating turbine concept is designed specifically to work well in high-speed winds. The wind turbines currently in use turn their blades to limit production when winds reach a speed of 40 kilometres an hour or higher. Much larger than a single turbine, the WCS array features more than 100 small turbines connected to a floating platform that is anchored to the seafloor using oil and gas rig construction.
Easier to service because of the smaller sized parts, the WCS is also simpler to build and move, as each turbine can be put together on deck and then hauled into place. No specialist or heavy-duty equipment is needed. The company says that a single Windcatcher will generate more than twice the annual energy of a single turbine.
Advertised as having a 50-year service life, as opposed to the current 30 years of most single turbines, the WCS could very well produce electricity at a cost equal to that of the grid. Governments and organisations interested in the system will have to make a note of this innovation and wait to hear when it becomes commercially available. Having developed the technology with the Institute for Energy Technology and offshore wind supplier Aibel, and secured support from Innovation Norway, among others, the company continues to develop the idea.
Other interesting renewable energy ideas that Springwise has recently spotted include a silent wind turbine that doubles as an art installation and electric school buses that can help power schools when not in use.
Written by: Keely Khoury