Can wind be captured by floating turbines?

Date:

Can wind be captured by floating turbines?

  • News by AUN News correspondent
  • Thursday, October 20, 2022.
  • AUN News – ISSN: 2949-8090

Summary:

  • The largest floating wind farm is located near Kincardine.

  • The Kincardine wind farm’s turbines need to be able to withstand the strongest storms and largest waves that the North Sea can dish out.

  • About half of the 100GW of offshore wind that the UK’s independent climate experts, the Climate Change Committee (CCC), predict to have been constructed by 2050 will be on floating platforms.

  • According to projections by the UK offshore wind industry group RenewableUK, the technology may generate £43 billion in economic activity and support up to 29,000 jobs.

  • The UK government has committed £160 million to bolster the nation’s port infrastructure, but RenewableUK thinks additional funding will be required.

Five wind turbines rise ten miles off the coast of Aberdeen, Scotland, above the North Sea.

Each tower in Canary Wharf in the docklands of London is as tall as the other.

The largest floating wind farm is located near Kincardine.

It helps resolve a conundrum in engineering. And, according to the people who made it, it shows how offshore wind could become a global energy source.

Traditional offshore wind turbines can’t be used in many places around the world because the seabed drops off quickly offshore.

These can only be used in water up to about 60 meters deep, and they are built from the bottom up on concrete foundations.

Putting turbines on floating platforms may seem like a simple solution, but think about the scary forces that these structures have to withstand.

The Kincardine wind farm’s turbines need to be able to withstand the strongest storms and largest waves that the North Sea can dish out.

The technology’s success is a result of Britain’s proficiency in offshore engineering, which it gained while exploring the North Sea’s oil and gas reserves.
Every tower is supported by three enormous cylindrical floats. They are welded together into a triangle platform with 67m-long sides and are painted a vivid yellow.

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The floats must adjust to shifting wind and wave conditions. According to Mr. Campbell-Smith, the tower “heels” or leans away from the wind in severe winds.

the platform is rebalanced and the turbine is positioned at the appropriate angle for the wind via a network of pumps and valves that transfer liquid ballast between the three floating cylinders.

Weighted subsea cables connected to enormous anchors below the water’s surface ensure that the platform is firmly fastened to the bottom.

The Kincardine plant, according to Principle Power, demonstrates the potential of floating wind.

It claims to generate enough electricity each year to provide 35,000 houses in the United Kingdom.

But it has a lot of rivalries. Companies all over the world are making their own floating wind platform designs.

The US government announced $50 million in fresh funding last month in an effort to persuade US businesses to construct 15 GW of floating wind in US seas by 2035.

According to the White House, the goal is to reduce costs by 75% and “help the US lead on offshore wind.”

Undoubtedly, there is a big potential market.

About half of the 100GW of offshore wind that the UK’s independent climate experts, the Climate Change Committee (CCC), predict to have been constructed by 2050 will be on floating platforms.

According to projections by the UK offshore wind industry group RenewableUK, the technology may generate £43 billion in economic activity and support up to 29,000 jobs.

And the prospects for the world are even more encouraging.

According to estimates, two-thirds of the US offshore wind potential is in deep water, 80% of the European seabed can only be reached by floating equipment, and a sizable portion of the sea off Japan is likewise deep.

According to RenewableUK, the total global pipeline of floating wind projects has increased by double in the past year alone, reaching 180GW.

According to the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult, a UK-based research centre for offshore wind technology, the global market for floating wind is expected to be worth between £400 and £5 billion by 2050.

Cost is currently the main obstacle. The price of this new technology is high. Floating wind energy costs about the same per kilowatt-hour as new nuclear energy.

However, unlike nuclear power, it is anticipated that costs would decrease as the industry expands.

Due to the widespread adoption of the technology, the cost of solar panels has decreased by 90% since 2010.

Costs for conventional offshore wind have significantly decreased as well.

However, the business sector cautions that additional funding will be required to realise the potential of this new technology.

In order to allow for the fabrication and assembly of the enormous floating constructions, deep ports with large workspaces are necessary.

While floating wind platforms must be built on a “production line,” oil and gas platforms are frequently custom orders.

The largest floating wind farms will have 100 platforms or more.

The UK government has committed £160 million to bolster the nation’s port infrastructure, but RenewableUK thinks additional funding will be required.

There are restrictions on Britain’s capacity to reap the benefits of its efforts, despite the fact that it was the first nation to effectively deploy floating wind on a large scale.

Famously, Boris Johnson wanted the UK to become the “Saudi Arabia of wind” by controlling the majority of its energy sector, but his boast was never believable.

The majority of the turbines in the UK are constructed by British employees, but at facilities and on wind farms that are owned and run by foreign businesses.

However, the industry is confident that floating wind offers the UK tremendous potential.

According to Dan McGrail, CEO of Renewable UK, “the UK can really be masters at everything that is happening here in the underground realm.”

It represents the expansion of offshore wind to the entire world, which is why it is so exciting, he says.

Analysis by: Advocacy Unified Network

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