Arup enters 10MW offshore wind turbine race

UK: Engineers working with a UK architect have entered the race to design a giant 10MW offshore wind turbine.

Prototype: Aerogenerator X
Prototype: Aerogenerator X

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Arup, working with architectural practice Grimshaw Architects are working with an academic consortium backed by Rolls Royce, Shell and BP on designs.

The Aerogenerator X is the conclusion of an 18-month feasibility study called the NOVA project undertaken by Cranfield University, QinetiQ, Strathclyde University, Sheffield University and Wind Power Limited.

The project was funded by the Energy Technologies Institute, a public private partnership comprising BP, Caterpillar, EDF, E.ON, Rolls-Royce, Shell, BP, EDF, EON, Caterpillar, the UK government and wind power developer Wind Power Limited.

John Roberts, head of energy at Arup, said: "Despite the installation of a number of large wind turbines offshore, the problems of increasing capital cost for deeper water remains unsolved as does the issue of safe operability in the marine environment.

"There is a tremendous opportunity for new ideas to make a difference to the commercial viability and operability of offshore wind power."

The new turbine would rotate on its axis, would have a span of around 275m, and has been compared to a sycamore leaf.

American and Norweigan engineers have already started work on similar projects, which could revolutionise the offshore wind industry.

Norweigan firm Sway AS is already testing a 10 MW prototype offshore wind turbine in Hordaland, Norway.

Clipper Windpower, with offices in London and California, is also developing a 10MW wind turbine.

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