Renewable energy could revitalize the world in the next 30 years, and wind power is one of the cheapest and most efficient ways to get there. In deep water, where wind farms are difficult to build, more than 80% of the coast is wind-blown. A new design for a heavy-duty wind turbine could begin to change that.
Norwegian windshielding systems are developing multi-turbine technology for wind farms that can generate five times the annual power of the world’s largest single wind turbine. This is due to the ingenuity and innovative design of wind farms.
In contrast to traditional wind turbines that carry one pole and three garage knives, wind cages are described in a square grid with more than 100 small knives. At 1,000 feet[1,000 m]the system is three times the size of the average wind turbine, and stands on a floating platform attached to the ocean floor. The company plans to develop prototypes next year. If successful, windshield wipers can change the way we use wind power.
“Traditional wind farms are based on old Dutch windmills,” said Ole Heggim, general manager of Wind Catching Systems. These wind farms work well on land, but “Why do you have to do the same thing on water when you have something to do on the ground?”
Coastal wind farms are in vogue; 162 are already in operation, 26 more are coming, mostly in China and the UK. As a result, wind farms cannot be built more than 20 miles from the coast, limiting their performance as wind blows deep into the ocean.
This is where floating wind farms play. The world’s first floating wind farm, Howwind, It opened in 2017, about 25 miles off the coast of Aberdeen in Scotland. It counts six floating wind turbines mounted in a heavy ballast-filled cylinder to allow the wind farm to float vertically. They are attached to the sea only by thick canoes, so they can operate in water more than 3,000 feet deep.
Howeind is charging around 36,000 British homes, and has already broken British records for power outages. Winding systems were launched the same year Hywind was launched. It is said that one unit can increase 80,000 to 100,000 European households. Ideally, when the wind is very strong, a wind control unit can generate up to 400 gigabytes of power per hour. By comparison, the largest and most powerful wind turbine on the market currently produces up to 80 gigabytes per hour.
There are several reasons for this significant difference. First, the windshield is high – approaching the Eiffel Tower – which exposes rotor blades to high wind speeds. Second, smaller knives work better. Heggheim explains that traditional turbines are 120 feet long and often exceed a certain wind speed. In contrast, windshield wipers are 50 feet long and can generate more rotations per minute, generating more power.
And because the knives are small, the whole system is easy to manufacture, build and maintain. Heggheim has a 50-year design age, twice the size of traditional wind turbines, and provides easy maintenance when some parts need to be replaced (or during annual inspections). “If you have a single turbine and you want to change the knife, you have to stop the whole operation,” said CFO Roni Carlson. We have 126 individual turbines, so we can stop one turbine if the knife needs to be changed.
Most of the system can be reused at the end of its life. After the first major wind turbulence in the 1990s, many traditional wind turbines have reached the design stage. Boeing 747 winged knives are being stored in landfills. Wind-cuter knives are not only small but also made of aluminum, unlike fiberglass used for large turbines, which can be completely reused. “You melt and produce new ones,” says Heggheim.
An example can be built in the North Sea (Norway or England). The company will then visit California and Japan. “Those near the coast have good wind resources, and governments are supporting them and they are starting to provide land for development,” Carlson said. According to Heggheim, for those who are aware of the potential dangers to birds, the structure will be equipped with short-range bird radar to help prevent collisions with birds. “Because these parts are so far from the coast, life on the beach should not be endangered,” he said.