The company behind a novel multi-rotor floating wind turbine that is backed by two leading Norwegian investment outfits claims it can make floating wind cost-competitive with bottom-fixed offshore wind a decade before conventional concepts
The company, Wind Catching Systems, is working with offshore engineering and construction company Aibel on the floating wind concept. The company is backed by family-owned investment company Ferd and North Energy.
Multi-rotor systems have been proposed and tested on a number of occasions, but the Norwegian concept takes the concept a step further, using large numbers of small rotors on a floating structure.
Wind Catching Systems chief executive Ole Heggheim said, “Wind Catching will make floating offshore wind competitive as soon as 2022-2023, which is at least 10 years earlier than conventional floating offshore wind.
“In co-operation with our main contractor Aibel, we will commercialise this ground-breaking technology that dramatically increases the efficiency of floating windfarms.
“Our goal is to enable offshore wind operators and developers to produce electricity at a cost that competes with other energy sources without subsidies.
“Simply put, we will deliver floating offshore wind at the cost of bottom-fixed solutions. Doing so will provide great opportunities for the Norwegian supplier industry.”
Working with Aibel and the Institute for Energy Technology, the company is developing a floating multi-rotor unit consisting of a large number of 1-MW turbines. An illustration provided by the company shows a single floating unit with many tens of turbines that could provide around 100 MW of capacity overall.
It argues that combining turbines in this way will reduce the space required for electricity to be generated and increase efficiency significantly in comparison to conventional floating offshore windfarms. Wind Catching Systems is also supported by Innovation Norway
Ferd investment director Erik Bjørstad said the company’s goal is to complete technical testing and verification in 2021 and “offer commercial development solutions in 2022.”
The company claims one Wind Catching unit is “five times as efficient than a conventional offshore wind turbine.”
North Energy investment director Rachid Bendriss said, “Wind Catching will challenge today’s established technology suppliers with its ground-breaking, patented design.
“With our technology, offshore wind operators and developers will achieve production costs they hoped to reach in 2030-2035 in a shorter timeframe.”
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