Two-bladed floating wind turbines capable of withstanding cyclones will be deployed by 2024

No installation vessels required.
Chris Young
A render of the 6-126 turbine.Seawind Ocean Technology

Amsterdam-based Seawind Ocean Technology signed a memorandum of understanding with London firm Petrofac to help deploy new two-bladed floating wind turbines in European waters by 2024, a press statement reveals.

Seawind, the company that designed the unique turbines, claims they can be installed in cyclone-prone areas and rough deep water thanks to their concrete floating structures. What's more, the turbines will have a 50-year life span, and they can be placed in these adverse conditions with little maintenance requirements. The turbines are assembled in a harbor using land-based cranes and no installation vessels are required.

The latest model of Seawind's two-bladed machine, called the 6-126 turbine, utilizes a patented teetering hinge technology that separates the shaft from the rotor, protecting the turbine from potentially harmful conditions. The turbines also have active yaw control, allowing for higher speeds. According to Seawind, its 6-126 turbine has a rated capacity of 6.2 MW, and its 126-meter-diameter rotors reach a speed of 20.8 rpm. The rotor tip speed, meanwhile, tops out at around 137 meters per second.

A "unique patented" turbine technology

The London-based firm Petrofac will support Seawind with design verification for the turbine system as well as provide engineering expertise to the project with a view to helping develop Seawind's first wind turbine demonstrator. In Petrofac's statement, CEO of Seawind Ocean Technology Vincent Dewulf said, "Petrofac assures delivery for its clients through innovation and technology, with proven results. Seawind has developed a unique patented technology that deploys the teetering-hinge two-blade wind turbine technology, which has many benefits for offshore application."

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It's yet another impressive new development for floating wind turbines, a technology that promises to boost the world's capacity to gather renewable energy and reduce its reliance on fossil fuels. Another firm, Wind Catching Systems, for example, is developing its own floating system using 126 small rotors. In an October interview with IE, that company's VP of Industry and Government Affairs, Daniel Engelhart-Willoch, said its new technology will "dramatically slash costs" for wind energy firms. If all goes to plan for Windsea and Petrofac, we may see the first 6-126 turbines hit the seas in the Mediterranean by Q1 of 2024.

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