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Wind Energy Update

31 Mar 2011 02:03:06

Offshore wind farm report

Report analyses technologies and methods used to build profitable offshore wind farm

Whilst offshore wind is booming in many countries, offshore wind farms require additional capital investment due to more expensive marine foundations, integration in to the electrical network, and installation procedures in addition to limited access for O&M during operation.

The new "Offshore Wind Installations and Constructions" report published by Wind Energy Update has found that offshore wind farms being built further away from the shore, using larger and much heavier turbines has paved the way for new innovation in offshore wind.

Among the report's findings are:
• Monopile foundations are being pushed to its structural limits in the Greater Gabbard project.
• Experts interviewed for the report said that there are only 15 vessels available for the installation of cables in offshore wind farms, learn how the industry is coping with the shortage.
• Offshore cabling generates 70% of insurance claims, even though it represents only 7% of the capital costs.
• The cost of large scale offshore wind farms, currently at around £3m per megawatt, must come down by at least 15% to ensure the economic viability of offshore wind.

"Understanding the most efficient ways to operate offshore wind farms is vital. Offshore wind farms require additional capital investment due to more expensive marine foundations, integration in to the electrical network, and installation procedures in addition to limited access for O&M during operation" said Alan Tricklebank, a wind industry expert and author of the report.

This new report published by Wind Energy Update examines the best practice for marine foundations, installation vessels and cabling in offshore wind farms using case study analysis with innovative offshore wind farm developers Greater Gabbard, Bard, Ormonde and Thornton Bank.

Discussion Thread  

Sam Dalton wrote:

02 Apr 2011

There needs to be a step change in turbine design rather than perpetuating the single focus on safe access ask rather how can we design tubbiness to be virtually maintenance free rather than choosing a design which requires so many moving parts that increase wear and potential failure. The current design has many issues

1. Many moving parts and bearing surfaces.

2. Complex design requiring a second mechanism to align with prevailing wind direction.

So what is the solution?

if you use vertical axis turbines on magnetic bearings you have a number of advantages.

1.Easier installation turbines need not be so high and can be upscaled to produce the same output as 100 turbines equivalent thus reducing instillation costs in access for maintenance and cable installation. the design can incorporate a helipad for access.

2. Magnetic bearings mean almost no gearing and bearing wear less moving parts.

3. Design does not need aligning to prevailing wind conditions have a lower velocity start up due to design less friction no shut down due to high winds thus generating exponentially more electricity at higher velocity.

All these factors provide for perhaps 90% reduction in access requirements and thereby reducing risk at the design stage.
The turbines can be installed on concrete jackets or decommissioned offshore platforms to maximise resources.

Because of the vertical axis and conical or cone-shaped design plus low resistance, the magnetic wind turbines can typically be placed lower to the ground than horizontal axis bladed turbines.

This means not only are MagLev wind turbines idea for commercial and utility scale applications but will also work in the residential settings. Jay Leno, as previously mentioned has a 5 kw magnetic wind turbine on the world famous Jay Leno's Garage. Ed Begley, Jr. has one about one-third this size (1.5 kw) on his home. Jay Leno also likes to compare the size of each.

The potential to scale up magnetic wind turbines is enormous. Researchers and engineers say that 1 gigawatt MagLev wind generators are feasible, which will be enough to power around 750,000 homes.

R Annett wrote:

11 Apr 2011

Minority Report;
Designed by humans and built by humans; wind turbines are always going to fail somehow. Get used to the idea.
But I'd sooner a fault in a wind turbine than a nuclear power plant.

Discussion Thread  


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