As we’ve discussed many times before, offshore wind represents a huge opportunity for clean energy, but some of the best resources are located in the deep ocean, where sinking shafts directly to the seabed becomes prohibitively expensive and difficult.
Floating platforms at sea offer another option, but the engineering challenges here are enormous.For example, a typical 14 MW offshore turbine might place a 500-ton nacelle atop a 130-meter (427-foot) tower, spinning three 108-meter (354-foot) long carbon blades to take full advantage of the gale at sea
No easy feat to balance such a massive windmill on a floating base, and do it at low cost in a way that is easy to manufacture, install and deploy? Well, it’s a multi-billion dollar problem that many companies are racing to solve.
Gazelle thinks it has a solution. The company says its odd-looking platform is in some ways a cross between two other methods of floating wind, namely semi-submersible and tension-leg platform designs.
Gazelle’s third-generation floating wind platform is tethered to the ocean floor on three sides. The cables run up from the subsea tethers, over the floating structure, over the rotating arm, and drop down to connect to heavy counterweights suspended below the platform.
This creates a passive system that balances wave and tidal motion and the enormous force exerted by the wind through the huge levers of the turbine towers, reducing pitching motion and increasing efficiency, the company said. Gazelle claims the resulting platform is smaller and lighter than typical semi-submersible designs – thus using up to 70% less steel and cutting costs by around 30%. Its “dynamic mooring” system places about 80 percent less load on the subsea tether than a typical TLP, keeping inclines below 1 degree while allowing up and down movement.
Gazelle says the relatively lightweight, inexpensive structure could be extended to handle turbines up to 20 MW – Larger than anything currently deployed in the offshore category. It says it is modular and easy to manufacture, tow and deploy, requiring no specialized equipment, cranes or port facilities.
It confirms the above statement small-scale model testing In the wave pool of the Environmental Hydraulics Institute of the University of Cantabria, Spain, and obtained the first “feasibility statement” Offshore wind platforms for DNV, a classification service provider specializing in lifecycle analysis of offshore installations, especially in renewable energy, oil and gas.
The company raised about $14.1 million in 2021.It signed a memorandum of understanding to develop a 2 MW Pilot Plant In partnership with Maersk Supply Service in the Canary Islands, it is unclear how far the project will go, although it is due to be completed in the second quarter of this year under the memorandum of understanding.Likewise, the company has announced “Joining forces” with WAM Horizon About another pilot project in Portugal, but so far no information has been provided about the scale, timeline, or even what this amorphous partnership really means. So it’s hard to assess how things are going.
Either way, it’s a mechanically interesting design targeting a low (yet unannounced) levelized cost of energy (LCoE), and we’ll be interested to see where this technology goes in the coming months. Check out the company’s innovative design in the video below.
Unleashing Wind Power for the World – Gazelle Wind Power