SeaTwirl’s vertical-axis floating offshore wind turbine set for tests off Norway

SeaTwirl aims to demonstrate its vertical-axis floating technology at a test site off the west coast of Norway

An artist's impression of what SeaTwirl's technology would look like
An artist's impression of what SeaTwirl's technology would look like

Swedish floating wind platform designer SeaTwirl has secured permission to install a 1MW prototype of its vertical-axis turbine at a test site in Norway.

Together with the Marine Energy Test Centre (Met Centre), it will seek to demonstrate the concept at a site off Bokn municipality, western Norway during a five-year concession.

The manufacturer has built a 30kW prototype, which it believes has proven to be stable and capable of withstanding major storms. It now aims to demonstrate the concept and advantages of a larger system with the 1MW S2x platform.

The S2x turbine is due to reach 55 metres above water surface, 80 metres below sea level, and has a rotor diameter of 50 metres.

It is now set to be installed at a site that used to be a fish farm 700 metres from the coast in water depths of 130 metres.

SeaTwirl claims its concept has a simple, robust design with a low centre of gravity, while its moving parts are located close to the water surface, enabling easier, cheaper maintenance.

The S2x demonstration is due to be connected to an existing transformer station on land. Norwegian utility Hauguland Kraft is due to buy the electricity produced.

SeaTwirl aims to sell a commercial unit to a leading energy company by 2025.

Research has suggested that vertical-axis wind turbines installed in certain configurations could outperform traditional horizontal-axis turbines, but aerodynamics experts have questioned the findings.

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