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WIREs Energy Environ.
Impact Factor: 3.297

Floating offshore turbines

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Floating wind turbines enable harvesting the offshore wind resources over deep sea. About 20 concepts are under development, at varying stages of maturity. Two concepts are demonstrated in full scale; these are HyWind and WindFloat. Both employ a standard on‐shore wind turbine with only minor modifications, but on a spar and a semi‐submersible floater, respectively. Other concepts suggest new types of turbines, e.g., the DeepWind concept consisting of a vertical axis turbine and a subsea generator. The three concepts represent different approaches: HyWind and WindFloat are already in a demonstration phase applying (mostly) well‐known technology, albeit in a new setting. DeepWind is a European research project based mostly on new technology. The concepts are described in some detail with emphasis on control and operation. Prospects are discussed including technical challenges and a performance metric of energy production per unit steel mass. Floating offshore wind turbines represent a promising technology. The successful operation of HyWind and WindFloat in full scale demonstrates a well advanced technology readiness level, where further development will go into refining the concepts, cost reductions, and series production for installation of wind farms. DeepWind is in an early phase and not proven, but with promising perspectives. WIREs Energy Environ 2015, 4:213–228. doi: 10.1002/wene.130 This article is categorized under: Wind Power > Science and Materials
HyWind design sketch (left) and in operation (right).
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Stabilization of floating structures.
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Six degrees of motion.
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Time series simulation result with average wind speed varying between 20 m/second and 30 m/second. The plot shows rotational speed and generator torque, for a control system without (left) and with (right) storm control.
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Overview of proposed DeepWind control system for variable speed operation that isolates 2p variations from electrical system and mooring system by means of a notch filter on measured rotor speed.
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Power (blue) and rotor efficiency (red) curves for DeepWind 5 MW design base.
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Flow close to the submerged vertical shaft in current, waves, and rotation.
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Artistic view (left) and sketch (right) of DeepWind.
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Photos from construction of floater (upper left), assembly in dry‐dock (right), and transport of complete turbine by tug boat (lower left).
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WindFloat design sketch (left) and in operation (right).
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Pictures of transport of spar from Technip in Finland to Norway (upper), assembly of turbine in deep fjord with sheltered waters (left), and transport of complete turbine to site for installation (right).
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Example of HyWind operation with (solid line) and without (dashed line) stabilizing control system. The curve shows tower pitch angle versus time. In the test without stabilizing control system, HyWind was shutdown after 250 seconds.
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Thrust‐versus‐wind speed with normal pitch control. Graph for illustration only.
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Photo of HyWind model scale testing in MARINTEK Ocean Basin Laboratory.
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