Tilting floating wind turbine prototype installed in The Netherlands

Dutch start-up TouchWind is set to begin testing its innovative floating wind turbine with a tilting, angled one-piece rotor at Fieldlab Green Economy Westvoorne in the Netherlands.

The field lab is dedicated to supporting research for innovations that contribute to a green economy, making it an ideal location for the installation and testing of TouchWind‘s prototype.

The turbine’s rotor has a diameter of 6 metres and will be tested for installation, mooring and anchoring, as well as for its ecological impact on the location at the Oostvoornse Lake. TouchWind has partnered with start-up Coastruction to use ecological hybrid anchors made using 3D print technology and location-specific materials such as sand and shells from the lake. The two companies recently received a EUR 75,000 grant for the demo project through the “Energie & Klimaat” programme from Innovation Quarter.

Floating wind technology JV

TouchWind’s technology is being developed in partnership with VDL, NIDEC, TU Delft, We4Ce, Enersea, EJ Projects, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL), the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO), and the Dutch test centre MARIN. The company recently completed the first floater tests at MARIN and also announced a strengthened alliance with Japanese MOL. The two companies signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) last year for the joint development of floating wind technology, with a primary focus on the further development of TouchWind’s one-piece rotor floating wind turbine.

The goal of TouchWind’s technology is to increase the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of offshore wind power. By using a one-piece rotor, the company aims to reduce maintenance and manufacturing costs, while the floating design allows for turbines to be installed in deeper waters where the wind is stronger and more consistent. This opens up more locations for offshore wind power generation, potentially increasing renewable energy production and decreasing reliance on fossil fuels.

Innovative floating wind turbine

While floating wind turbines are not a new technology, TouchWind’s design is unique in its tilting, angled one-piece rotor. The company’s partnership with Coastruction also showcases its commitment to using sustainable and eco-friendly materials in the construction and installation of its turbines.

One potential challenge that may arise from the testing of TouchWind’s prototype is the impact on local wildlife and the environment. However, the use of ecological hybrid anchors and testing for ecological impact will help to minimize any negative effects.

TouchWind’s innovative floating wind turbine has the potential to revolutionize the offshore wind power industry, and the small-scale prototype installation and testing in the Netherlands is a significant step towards achieving this goal. As the company continues to develop its technology with its partners, we can expect to see more advancements in offshore wind power and the growth of renewable energy production.

Image source: TouchWind

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