Tokyo Electric Power Company and Tokyo University have begun a ´60 million ($523,000) research project to test the feasibility of two designs of turbine floatation platforms suitable for machines located at least ten kilometres offshore. One design envisages a slightly bowed triangular semi-submersible floating platform, 180 metres wide. Turbines would be positioned at each of the platform's corners while cables would tether the platform to a central float to increase stability. The second design looks at constructing a new kind of float for individual turbines that would be tethered to the seabed by cables, in a similar fashion to a design recently announced by Norsk Hydro (Windpower Monthly, January 2005). The turbines would sit above sea level on reinforced concrete floats that would extend beneath the surface to a depth of 80 metres. Using concrete is expected to be cheaper than the traditional steel floats. The research is expected to be completed by March 2007.
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