In France and in many places around the world, offshore wind turbines do not really have a good reputation. In a publication, however, American engineers recently presented a new type of floating and contra-rotating wind turbine. This concept could be the future of offshore wind.
Advantages and disadvantages
Almost everywhere, wind turbines are not always well received. In France, for example, the Atlantic coastline is exceptional thanks to its regular winds, so much so that offshore wind turbine projects are multiplying there. Despite promises of job creation and clean energy production, offshore wind turbines are the subject of much criticism. According to critics, these installations would be very expensive, inefficient and would not reduce carbon emissions. Furthermore, they would denature the coastlines and would impoverish marine biodiversity.
The classic wind turbines, and therefore the most common, are of the HAWT type (horizontal axis wind turbine), but their installation is increasingly difficult as one moves away from the coast. Anchoring these to the deep seabed is impossible or very expensive if feasible. Let us also mention the VAWTs (vertical axis wind turbine), which is already found on dry land. These are less efficient than HAWTs because they are smaller. On the other hand, it is possible to group these wind turbines on a smaller surface and the latter are able to harness the wind from any directionwithout requiring heavy equipment.
Electricity production doubled
As New Atlas explains in an August 30, 2022 article, a Norwegian start-up named World Wide Wind wants to exploit verticality like VAWTs. The goal? Make a maritime windmill whose capabilities and features could be game-changing. Moreover, this type of machine has been designed for group deployment. Called CRVT (vertical contra-rotating turbine), this concept of wind turbine is based on a buoy equipped with a ballast, a rotor and a stator allowing folding according to the wind. The machine has two counter-rotating turbines, the first linked to the rotor and the second to the stator. In addition, these two turbines each rotate in one direction, which would allow double electricity production.
The World Wide Wind company is not stingy with promises. Indeed, it evokes wind turbines reaching almost the 400 meters height for a power of 40MW. By way of comparison, the turbine of the Chinese company MingYang Smart Energy (the most powerful in the world at present) measures 242 meters and delivers a power of 16 MW.
Officials also talked about lower production costs for these CRVTs. Indeed, the expenses would amount to only 50 euros for the production of one megawatt. As for the maintenance and operation of the machine, everything seems easier insofar as the most sensitive elements are in the famous buoy on which everything rests.