A 6MW vertical-axis floating wind turbine (VAWT) concept has been unveiled by a consortium of European companies led by France’s ASAH LM.
The Spinfloat would combine
a low-cost three-legged semi-submersible foundation, developed by Dutch
engineer GustoMSC, a drivetrain designed by German research institute
Fraunhofer IWES and pitchable blades from Denmark’s SSP – which also supplied
the 83.5-metre model being flown by Samsung’s 7MW offshore prototype in
Other organisations onboard
for the project include Dutch R&D outfit ECN and the Italian University
Politecnico di Milano, which will carry out wind tunnel testing.
“We believe that the
compelling advantages of Spinfloat and the quality of the initial consortium
will attract local companies from coastal regions to create new jobs and
participate to what we believe is a game-changer and a new standard for the
floating offshore wind industry“ says ASAH LM president Alain Delsupexhe.
The consortium’s argument in
favour of the unconventional technology is based around research that it believes
supports VAWTs being “more suited to the movement of a floater” than
traditional horizontal-axis machines.
Tri-floater foundation uses a “braceless” architecture purpose-designed for
cost-efficient construction, inspection and maintenance.
GustoMSC chief Nils Van Nood
says: “GustoMSC is very pleased to further strengthen its position in
floating offshore wind energy [in] support of this revolutionary new turbine.”
Among other companies
developing floating VAWT concepts are French offshore oil contractor Technip
with its VertiWind concept, Sweden’s Ehrnberg Solutions with its SeaTwirl, and the UK’s Wind
Power with its Aerogenerator.
The US government's Sandia National Laboratories launched a project last
year to test a range of ultra-large floating VAWT designs,
with the target of carving 20% out of the cost of energy of deep-water
installations. Dutch marine research centre Marin has been testing a
Darrieus “egg-beater” design for the DeepWind Consortium, led by the Technical
University of Denmark.