China is considering installing offshore wind turbines

Are vertical turbines the future of offshore wind energy?

What makes renewable energies so interesting is the immense economic potential of revolutionary technological advances.

A recent discovery made by engineers at the University of Oxford Brookes' School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics could change the design of offshore wind farms forever. The study led by Professor Iakovos Tzanakis shows that deep-water and coastal wind turbines could achieve a power output if conventional wind turbines with a horizontal axis (HAWT) were replaced by a wind turbine with a vertical axis (VAWT). While conventional HAWT windmills generate electricity with a standard three-bladed "pinwheel" design, VAWT uses a more cylindrical shape with the blades rotating around an arc. Central bre.

The main problem with conventional HAWT wind farms, which can have 60 to 70 turbines per 1,500 acres, is that efficiency is reduced and quickly deteriorates in the back rows due to the turbulence in the first rows of the formation. Vertical axis turbines solve this problem by creating less turbulence and in some cases even improving the efficiency of neighboring turbines. The basis of their research is computerized flow analysis using 11,500 hours of computer simulations to optimize placement. They also analyzed the effects of downstream turbulence, which reduced the efficiency of the back row of conventional HAWTs to 25-30%. This discovery requires further study of condensing wind farms since the turbines were designed. If they are installed close together, the performance will change and reduce the efficiency of the surrounding turbines due to the turbulence created against the wind. The typical offshore turbine is massive, has a diameter of 220 m and a height of 248 m and produces an average of 12 to 14 MW of electricity, which is sufficient to supply up to 12,600 households with electricity.

Current capacity of turbines in the USA for wind quantities at production. The offshore wind capacity is a meager 42 MW, led by the first offshore wind farm in Block Island, RI, with 30 MW - 1 GW equals 1,000 MW. In addition to the Vineyard Wind Project

Denmark has developed two ocean wind projects with 800 MW to supply the state of New Jersey with a total of 2.3 GW.

The first applications of wind turbine technology began in the 1970s with an emphasis on small, remote scale applications, such as research stations being disconnected from the grid. The biggest obstacle in the further development of VAWT designs is the lack of a suitable wing shape and mental problems with the braking systems, which lead to higher costs. Traditional aerospace applications have provided years of research and a technical basis for the development of the well-known "windmill" design. The onshore wind turbine market is dominated by a standard three rotor HAWT design, but there are some for VAWTs. Recent investments in offshore wind farms such as the Vineyard Wind Project

use a typical HAWT three rotor design offered by the market leader in a bedrock based application that is not suitable for deep water. Given the violent and unpredictable conditions of deep-sea water, as well as the weight and center of gravity of a wind turbine, it is understandable that the technology required to assemble a floating turbine was only recently developed. One proposed solution was developed by Sandia National Laboratory in collaboration with the Department of Energy and universities across the country. After completing Phase 1 research under a grant from, this solution provided information that included a Level Energy Cost (LCOE) using a VAWT design. Much of the initial work at Sandia Labs was creating simulations of offshore wind projects. Also included improved wing and mechanical generator design, as well as pe refinement of methods of securing a turbine for safe operation in deep water conditions. Research for the project ended in 2014 and was followed by a publication with the official design recommendations in 2017. The current solutions on the VAWT market are all geared towards microgrids and applications in extreme weather conditions. They have the advantage of being able to perform well in stressful weather conditions. The turbines can even operate in what can be a lifeline for deep water infrastructures such as oil wells. Countries like the UK and Germany are already leaders in terms of offshore wind generation capacity and investment. The British Isles have the same design as the Vineyard Wind project. British interests lie in the Coastal Sea proposal, where conditions can be easily managed by GE's proposed HAWT design. The US project is the wind farm three miles off the coast of Rhode Island that will generate 30 MW from a number of GE-supplied units, providing electricity to 27,000 homes. Currently, only a few countries use wind power on the high seas, as this is possible as a coastal alternative on an LCOE basis. Offshore wind has found a niche application for providing offshore energy. One of the most demanding offshore energy customers is the oil industry, which currently supplies the platforms with diesel-electric generators. The typical offshore oil well consumes (5,200 to 8,000 gallons) per day. This particular application allows a high LCOE - like offshore wind - to be considered competitive. The Norwegian Egyptian utility Equinor's latest investment at sea by Nrrd focuses on supplying its oil platforms with offshore wind power. The proposed project includes 11 floating HAWTs with a capacity of 88 MW, providing more than 35% of the energy needs for a number of five offshore platforms. The Hywind project is expected to reduce 200,000 tons of CO2 emissions per year. Further investments in offshore wind technology could completely eliminate the need for diesel fuel. There have been small projects in the US to test the design of floating HAWTs. In 2013, a model was installed off the coast of Maine by the in partnership with the University of Maine. Principle Power, based in Seattle, has installed its patented wind float design in an offshore application off the west coast of the USA. Principle Power has currently demonstrated the ability of its design to withstand waves up to 17 m (55 ft 9 in). and up to 41 m / s (92 mph). If the US invest more in developing VAWT floating turbine technology, it could become the world leader in offshore wind energy. Once they have overcome the barriers, techniques created by materials and mechanical systems become the production The capacity of an offshore wind farm is infinitely scalable with the right technology. Models like that of the team at Oxford Brookes University confirm the idea of ​​replacing floating oil platforms with wind turbines. The ultimate irony would be for the oil giants to use their deep water technologies to create the first line of scalable floating turbines for deep water applications.