Vertiwind: Floating wind turbine project launched

Feb 07, 2011 by Katie Gatto

(PhysOrg.com) -- Technip, a French-based oil and gas engineering company, and Nenuphar, a wind-power startup, announced that they will soon launch Vertiwind, a newly designed wind turbine.

The turbine's design hopes to reduce the hefty cost associated with tethering deep-water installations by turning the turbine on its side. Instead of the traditional horizontal-axis design the Vertiwind has its main rotor shaft set vertically. The motion will be more akin to a spinning top, which has the advantage of a lower center of gravity.

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.

While the Vertiwind design stands 100 meters tall the real weight, a 50 ton generator, is only 20 meters above the sea. When compared to a standard 100 meter wind turbine, which houses the generator 60 meters above the sea, the Vertiwind's design has a much lower center of gravity. This allows for a flotation system that extends only nine meters below the surface of the ocean. The two-megawatt turbine is expected to be in service in the Mediterranean waters by the end of 2013.

Some scientists, such as Walter Musial, the leader of the offshore wind energy research activities for the U.S. Department of Energy's National Laboratory, have expressed concern about the turbines straight blades and potential for damage caused by centrifugal force during normal rotation. The concern is compounded by the fact that the blades will only be attached by two supports near the bottom of the blade, instead of more evenly distributing the load.

A 0.5-scale prototype, built in the laboratories of Arts and Crafts school in Lille, is currently going through land-based testing on the "Carrieres" site, in Boulonnais. Once land-based testing has ended the prototype will be tested at sea.

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.


Explore further: Renewable energy companies use new clout in statehouses

More information: www.technip.com/en/press/techn… wind-turbine-project

Related Stories

MIT designs 'invisible,' floating wind turbines

Sep 18, 2006

An MIT researcher has a vision: Four hundred huge offshore wind turbines are providing onshore customers with enough electricity to power several hundred thousand homes, and nobody standing onshore can see them. The trick? ...

Oxford turbines to harvest energy from tides

Sep 10, 2008

Oxford researchers have developed a new tidal turbine which has the potential to harness tidal energy more efficiently and cheaply, using a device which is simpler and more robust and scaleable than current ...

Recommended for you

Renewable energy companies use new clout in statehouses

Dec 24, 2014

Earlier this year, Ohio became the first state to freeze a scheduled increase in the amount of electricity that must be generated by wind, solar and other renewable sources. The move gave advocates of repealing states' mandatory ...

America's place in the sun: Energy report sets goal

Dec 24, 2014

A recent energy report said that America should build on the recent growth in solar energy by setting a goal of obtaining at least 10 percent of its electricity from solar power by 2030. "Star Power: The ...

Nevada, feds to study nuke-waste burial in state

Dec 23, 2014

Nevada and the federal government are agreeing to have a panel keep studying whether the U.S. will bury radioactive material from Tennessee at a former nuclear weapons proving ground north of Las Vegas.

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

MarkyMark
not rated yet Feb 08, 2011
Well despite the concernes with its design its good to test it as alternative energies are the future. This is especially true when you consider how dependent we are on fossil fuels and how the various suppliers tend to take advantage of there monopolies.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.