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Floating wind power at sea

SeaTwirl is looking to become the market leader in marine wind power. The company’s proprietary wind turbine, which rotates like a floating carousel on the surface of the ocean, has already garnered a great deal of attention. In preparation for scaling up the turbine, SeaTwirl has turned to RISE for help in calculating the affect of the wind on the construction.
“We are an innovative development company so access to researchlevel studies is a valuable asset,” says Gabriel Strängberg, CEO of SeaTwirl.

Since 2015, a vertical-axis wind turbine has been bobbing in the water just outside Lysekil. With a rotor diameter of 10 metres, the SeaTwirl S1 turbine has stood up to the harsh climate of the Swedish west coast for three years.

“A verticalaxis turbine provides power irrespective of wind direction. This alleviates the need for components to turn the turbine in the right direction. This provides major advantages at sea, with fewer moving parts that might break down and require servicing.”

Goal to be leader in floating wind turbine

The goals of this Swedish company is to be a world leader in the floating wind turbine market. The road to achieving this goes via innovation.

“Instead of taking horizontalaxis turbines, which were developed for land-based use, and attempting to adapt these to marine conditions, we have approached the problem from the other direction. We observe the ocean and consider how we can develop something workable from the existing conditions.”

The concept is now about to be scaled up. The S2 will be operational in 2020 and will have a capacity of 1 megawatt. With its 50-meter diameter rotor, the turbine will be exposed to the tough conditions of the natural marine environment. SeaTwirl is working with RISE and Chalmers University of Technology to identify a suitable methodology for calculating the forces involved.

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“RISE has staff with a great deal of knowhow regarding wind turbines and hydrodynamics. This is extremely relevant and beneficial to us. They also have a breadth of knowledge, making it easy for us to introduce the necessary competences into the project,” says Gabriel Strängberg.

Renewable energy without emissions

Wind power is a renewable source of energy with zero carbon dioxide emissions, something that will be in increasing demand in the future.

“There is a great deal of activity in the field. The potential for floating marine wind turbines is enormous,” says Gabriel Strängberg.