A newly designed floating wind turbine is designed to tackle the roughest seas
Spotted: Engineering and tech company Seawind Ocean technology has developed a floating offshore wind turbine demonstrator that can produce 6.2 megawatts of energy. The company has recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Petrofac—a leading international service provider to the energy industry— to build the offshore turbine.
Seawind’s floating wind turbine integrates two blades with a unique structure the company claims can be installed in any ocean environment – including ultra-deep waters and areas that see frequent cyclones. The durable facility is claimed to be able to last up to 50 years with little maintenance.
Called the 6-126, the turbine uses a teetering hinge to separate the shaft and rotor – protecting the turbine from harmful and heavy loads. An active yaw control allows the turbine to run at higher speeds. The turbines are assembled harbour-side using land-based cranes, and do not require the use of installation vessels, making them easy to site.
The Seawind turbine will be part of ScotWind, the first round of offshore wind leasing in Scottish waters for a decade. John Pearson, COO of New Energy Services at Petrofac, described ScotWind as signalling a, “major commitment towards achieving the UK’s Net Zero ambitions. More than half the awards were granted for floating wind projects, which we consider a major driver of our growth ambitions in the new energy sector.”
Wind turbine projects are moving ahead at a rapid clip all around the world. However, while the ocean represents a near-constant source of wind, floating turbines have been slower to be developed due to the difficulty in conducting maintenance and repairs. In addition to the Seawind turbine, innovations like robot turbine repair and new turbine designs, could help offshore power to really take off.
Written By: Lisa Magloff