Today’s Solutions: May 17, 2022

As our transition towards renewables marches on, engineers and designers around the world are working on redesigning the conventional wind turbine in a bid to harness wind power in a more efficient and aesthetically pleasing way.

One of the latest of these solutions comes from Norway’s Wind Catching Systems (WCS), a floating offshore wind developer that designed a massive floating wind turbine array that reportedly generates five times the annual energy of the world’s biggest single turbines at a competitive cost.

A single colossal Windcatcher structure is more than 1,000 ft (324 m) tall and features many smaller turbines positioned in a grid formation. The turbine array sits atop a floating platform moored to the ocean floor using practices established in building offshore oil rigs.

According to WCS, just one of these arrays could double the swept area of the world’s biggest conventional wind turbines and the smaller rotors could perform much better in wind speeds over 27 mph when larger turbines tend to slow down the number of blade rotations to protect themselves from damage.

The overall effect, says WCS, is an energy efficiency five times higher than a conventional offshore wind turbine, with each array able to produce enough electricity to power 80,000 households.

WCS envisions a lifespan of 50 years for its wind harnessing structures, with cost-effective maintenance compared to current floating offshore wind solutions, as well as easier construction thanks to smaller pieces that are much easier to work with.

Image source: Wind Catching Systems

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