Newsletter RADAR - Issue 04/2023

Sustainable things to copy: Concepts and skills around the globe

Whirling wind catchers:

Vertical offshore wind turbines for deep waters

In Norway's idyllic Boknafjord, new types of wind turbines will soon surprise on the water. Some 700 metres from the coast in water depths of up to 130 metres, this is where Swedish company SeaTwirl will test their new S2x vertical prototypes. Yes, you read that right: Unlike the usual wind turbines, which can only be anchored in water depths of 50 - 60 metres, the floating whorls can be installed in much deeper waters. This is made possible by a deep floater as a base and a tether on the seabed. The vertical orientation of the rotor blades, three in number on the S2x, means that the turbines are almost always right in the wind.

After headwind now tailwind
Norway is considered very committed when it comes to renewable energies. The Gothenburg offshore pioneers SeaTwirl were granted the concession for prototype testing as early as March 2022. An appeal against the concession was finally rejected by the Norges Vassdrags- og Energidirektorat (NVE) in January this year, so planning is now in full swing. 

Floats of opportunity
SeaTwirl has identified a number of advantages of the new turbine. First and foremost: lower overall costs than conventional horizontal turbines, for example, due to the comparatively simple installation and cheaper maintenance costs. In addition, there is the use of strong winds in deep waters and lower distance restrictions. The stable construction has a low centre of gravity, and all major components, including the generator, are close to the water surface. Tests will show how the 40-metre-high rotor blades can ultimately be optimised for energy generation. So far, the company promises only 1 MW.

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