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GFRP enables floating wind turbine to come true

Posted by zccyfiberglass on December 7th, 2015

GFRP enables floating wind turbine to come true

Coupled aeroelastic/hydrodynamic modeling yields a composite tower half the weight of steel, reducing hull foundation weight by two to three times the tower’s weight savings.

Although the business case for offshore wind farms is compelling, installing offshore turbines is no easy task. Even in shallow coastal waters, it’s expensive. Large turbine installation vessels (TIVs), with jackup technology and massive cranes, transport tower and turbine components to the site, then hammer steel piles into the seabed, assemble the steel tower, and lift and install the turbine and rotor. Deep water along many coastlines, however, precludes the relative simplicity of a steel-pile foundation. As developers confront regions where shallow water is scarce, a different approach is necessary — specifically, floating foundations.

Floating turbine concepts, in fact, are abundant. This year may become a boom year for various European launches, if projects stay on track. Whoever likes to refer to floating offshore wind technology as ‘niche’ and a long way off may want to reconsider that statement.”

In anticipation of this boom, the University of Maine’s (Orono, Maine) Advanced Structures and Composites Center (ASCE) headed a consortium of companies called DeepCWind and began to develop the concept four years ago. “When we started work, nothing like this … had been done before,” says consortium leader and UMaine professor Dr. Habib Dagher.

DeepCWind plans to field a grid-connected, pilot floating wind farm in coastal Maine by 2017. In its first step toward that goal, ASCE launched a 1:8-scale floating turbine research prototype last year, funded by a 2012 U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) grant and featuring a composite tower built by consortium partner Ershigs.

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Also See: Floating Wind, Wind Turbine, Offshore Wind, Gfrp Enables, Turbine, Floating, Wind

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