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Finalizing Design for Two-Blade Semi-Submersible Floating Wind Turbine

two-blade semi-submersible floating wind turbine
Seawind's design uses semi-submersible foundations and a two-blade rotor (Sewind Ocean Technology)

Published May 17, 2022 8:01 PM by The Maritime Executive

The efforts to develop the next generations of offshore wind turbines are continuing. In the latest development, Singapore-based vessel design and engineering firm SeaTech Solutions will collaborate with Dutch firm Seawind Ocean Technology which is developing an innovative design for floating wind turbines. Using technology in part drawn from work at NASA, Seawind is promoting its concept for a semi-submersible platform as a less expensive, more robust, and more powerful solution to expanding offshore wind energy generation.

The companies agreed to collaborate to develop semi-submersible floating platforms. The semi-submersible floating platforms are a key component in Seawind’s integrated approach to constructing the concrete floating foundations and subsequently lift and assemble the tower, the nacelle, and the blades of its floating offshore wind turbines.

Seawind’s design is for a unique twin-bladed rotor with teetering hinge and yaw control inspired by helicopter technology. The yawing would permit the wind turbine to deal with wind direction and speed not requiring blade pitching. They report that the design achieves lower torque and a lighter drivetrain for higher rotation speeds, which results in low fatigue and longer life. The design is simpler to construct and lower cost while producing a higher power output, which Seawind is promoting as giving it the capability to outperform all existing three blade wind turbine designs. 

The semi-submersible foundation they are also promoting as the key to opening up broader areas offshore to host wind turbines. The company says it can be deployed in deep (approximately 200 feet) and ultra-deep (up to nearly 10,000 feet) waters and in cyclonic areas. DNC has reviewed and qualified the technologies in two of the company’s designs. 

“We are very excited to partner with Seawind on this unique tailor-made solution for its production and assembly of floating wind turbines,” said Govinder Singh Chopra, Director of SeaTech. “The semi-submersible platform is a floating workshop and transporter combined in one to improve productivity and increase efficiency.”

SeaTech will contribute its expertise in developing over 640 vessels to help customized the designs to meet Seawind’s construction and assembly requirements for its integrated floating offshore wind turbines. Upon finalizing the design, SeaTech would then provide a full design package of the semi-submersible floating platforms, which will include the detailed design, 3D modeling, and the full set of construction drawings.

Seawind has started the permitting steps for a new turbine production and assembly facility in a port area in Italy, where the first newly designed semi-submersible floating platform will be deployed and commissioned as early as Q4 2024. This facility will also include a cement and batching plant, as well as a blade manufacturing workshop.

The company has said its smaller 6.4MW design would be available to the market as early as next year. They have projected that the 12.2 MW design would be made available to the market in 2024.