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Hydro Develops Floating Windmills for Deeper-Water Wind Farms

4 November 2005

Hywind
Rendering of Hywind windmills. Click to enlarge.

Hydro, the Norwegian energy and aluminum company, is developing floating windmills for offshore power generation. Using the same type of floating concrete structure technology applied in the North Sea oil industry for offshore rigs as a base, the Hywind systems are designed to work in sea depths of 200–700 meters (656–2,297 feet).

Hydro has measured wind speeds in the North Sea for more than 30 years. Based on data determining that average wind speeds at sea are higher than on land, Hywind will be exceptionally energy efficient.

Model testing is currently under way at the Norwegian R&D institute Sintef Marintek’s ocean basin laboratory in Trondheim.

Hywind is a future-oriented project combining our offshore oil industry experiences with our knowledge of wind power to take advantage of wind resources where it blows most: at sea. If we succeed, this can become an important part of our future energy supply

—Alexandra Bech Gjørv, Hydro’s director of new energy forms

Hydro is planning a demonstration project based on wind turbines with a power generation capacity of 3 megawatts (MW) to commence in 2007. The windmills will reach 80 meters above the sea’s surface and will have a rotor diameter of about 90 meters.

The company envisions future wind turbines with a power capacity of 5 MW and a rotor diameter of approximately 120 meters.

The future goal is to have large-scale offshore wind parks with up to 200 turbines capable of producing up to 4 terawatt hours (TWh) per year and delivering renewable electricity to both offshore and onshore activities. This goal is far in the future, but if we’re to succeed in 10-15 years, we have to start the work today.

—Alexandra Bech Gjørv

Hydro has invested some NOK 20 million (US$3 million) into developing the Hywind concept over the past three years. Further realization of research and the demonstration project will require at least another NOK 150 million (US$22.8 million).

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November 4, 2005 in Wind | Permalink | Comments (29) | TrackBack (3)

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» Norway's Hydro Develops Floating Wind Turbines from Treehugger
Hydro is a Norwegian energy and aluminum company. They are developing floating wind turbines that could be used in deep-water wind farms (depths between 200 and 700 meters (656 and 2,297 feet)). "The company envisions future wind turbines with a power ... [Read More]

» Norway's Hydro Develops Floating Wind Turbines from Treehugger
Hydro is a Norwegian energy and aluminum company. They are developing floating wind turbines that could be used in deep-water wind farms (depths between 200 and 700 meters (656 and 2,297 feet)). "The company envisions future wind turbines with a power ... [Read More]

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Comments

Why do I picture Bill Murray breaking in to steal the electronics?

You've got to wonder what will happen to bird populations because of these things.

"You've got to wonder what will happen to bird populations because of these things."
Ok what? These things spin very slowly.

Seriously the bird thing has been done to death. multiple studies have shown that unless you place turbines absolutely in the middle of a bird magration route then bird deaths are almost non-existent. Currently less than 1 out of every 14,000 bird deaths can be attributed to wind turbines. More modern slower spinning turbines coupled with just a little research about placement and this is a complete non-issue. How many more critters would die do you think, through habitat loss and pollution, if an equivalent size coal plant and strip mine is built instead? The big culprit for bird deaths are "domestic" animals and high rise buildings, interestingly i dont see mass protests to kill domestic cats or prevent building construction, truly strange.

The main issue with wind turines is they need to paint em so the birds will see em. Currently they blend in alot.

Yes, the bird thing is done to death. Only older faster spinning models had any major negative effect. The LARGER slower ones that are being built today DONT KILL BIRDS. More birds fly into buildings by factors of THOUSANDS compared to wind turbines. Its time for enviromentalists to stop talking about this. It makes us look stupid.

I curious as to how far these things are placed from shore, and how much energy will be lost in the transmission.

More birds fly into buildings by factors of THOUSANDS compared to wind turbines. Its time for enviromentalists to stop talking about this. It makes us look stupid.

Ditto! Let's move on...

The bird thing is usually brought up by people trying to argue that nuclear or coal power is safer and more environmentally sound. Weak argument, to say the least, but from what I've seen it's not the environmentalists bringing up that issue as much as industry wind power opponents and their pundits.

Pet cats kill much more birds than wind turbines, yet I don't see these bird protectors claim that house cats should be banned; they only are going against wind turbines...

What I mean above is that the argument is obviously not about protecting birds; it's about opposing wind turbines.

Also Wind Turbines could be shut off (locked) during migration.

Maybe two weeks in the spring and two weeks in the fall?

Of course any bird could still collide with it just like a building.
Birdbrains?

And if you can build a Floating Wind power turbine, what about underwater turbines?

The same tower could have TWO rotors. One for wind and one for water.

Next people will complain Dolphins and Baby seals are getting killed by them.

oh Well.


Terra Moya Aqua Inc. from Cheyenne Wyoming claims that they have produced a new higher efficiency wind mill blade, with added vertical airfoils, with about 44% efficiency versus an average of 32% for current wind mills. Their new wind mill turns much slower, requires less wind speed (as low as 3 m/sec), less height, cost less per KW, produces less noise, may be installed in urban areas and is scalable up to 1 MW each.

A very interesting development for wind power generation in many more areas where wind energy/speed is too low (from 3 m/sec to 5 m/sec)for current wind mills operation.

'M' speaks words of wisdom. :) Underwater turbines are the way.

The pushing force generated by water is much more then wind. Plus under water you don't have to worry about strong hurricanes and big waves. Plus you can make gigantic slow underwater blades that even a whale could avoid because the water provides so much more torque compared to wind.

Turning off the rotors for bird migration is dumb. There IS NO PROBLEM, so dont feed into it. As many birds will die running into the still blades as the moving ones. This turning off the rotors would re-enforce the 'problem' in the publics eye.

Remember that some large spider web has some thicker visible string on it? It served as a warning sign for birds so that they dont crash into the spider webs and damage it.

Perhaps we could use the same idea on wind turbines. Like paint the turbines in brick red or put some signal lights on the blades just to make sure anything pass by will see the turbines.

(got bird flu?)

Again, THERE IS NO BIRD/TURBINE PROBLEM. "fixing" it will only cause people to believe there is a problem. Oh well. If we were dumb enough to elect "W" I guess we are dumb enough to sabotage ourselves.

Indeed, no bird problems. Only people problems here.

They are happy with clearing forest therefore removing birds' home.

They are happy with reflective glass big buildings so that its pretty and help reduce air-con bill, although
birds always head shot on the glass windows.

They have no problem with C-130 turbo-fan engines or 747 turbo-jet engines which can blend anything pass by into goo.

The only bird problem is lots bird droppings all around your house and when they die suspiciously people in spacesuit will come and investigate your house.

To Rexis,

We could solve the migrating bird flu problem by making wind turbines into giant spider web nets to catch all the birds coming towards the border.
See,. thats a viable solution. Quickly, throw $500 Million dollars at it. >8)

What I want to know is if these installations are not planted, how do you stop the wear and tear on the power cables to the mainland, especially during times of high sea turbulence.

80 meters above the sea’s surface that's surely some huge infrastructure!

Underwater turbines? Water is very much different thing to air. It is not as easy as jusy waterproof one wind turbine and soak it into water.

Well it works for submarines,. so I'm assuming that it is entirely possible to do turbines.
Additionally, if the infrastructure was designed to peak on the water surface an air snorkel could suck some air and keep the turbine dry in critical places using some sort of possitive pressure seal.

All I was getting at is water is much more dense, so the amount of push generated on the blades would be a lot more. If there is a real engineering reason why this is not possible then innovation will overcome it I'm sure. :)

Adrian:

Undersea power cables should be a long lasting solution, they are doing the same thing in some international communication cable.

Water turbines should be much smaller then a wind turbine. Since water is so much denser then air. Another option we should look into is tidal turbines that can capture the energy of sea waves.

Yeah, $500millions now or never! Its either them or us! No need for giant webs, just make faster and sharper turbines and no more birds in no time >>)

There's already an underwater windmill type of thing, check out this article.

First solar energy, now lunar energy.

Who cares about the birds?
Here is your option.. a few birds die occasionally, or we go on using petrolum based energy which is worse for EVERYTHING ON THE PLANET.

If a few birds have to die to save the earth, go for it.

Besides, these windmills are going to be 8 to 12 miles away from shores... possibly even further, there aren't many birds out there.

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