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SWAY offshore wind turbine prototype installed

SWAY, which is planning to develop a 10 MW floating offshore wind turbine, has installed its first prototype off the coast of Bergen, Norway.

By Renewable Energy Focus staff

The 1:5 scale prototype has a 29 m tower, which is constructed a bit like a floating bottle with most of the weight at the bottom moving the centre of gravity some distance below the surface. Above surface, the tower measures 13 m. The structure weighs 22 tonnes.

The prototype’s rotor diameter is 13 m, and it is designed so that the whole tower and turbine swivel according to the wind direction.

The offshore wind turbine is a downwind structure and the tower is reinforced by a tension rod system on the upwind side giving “significant steel weight reduction compared to other floating technologies,” according to SWAY. This could in turn lead to a cost of energy equal to that of existing offshore wind turbines in shallow water.

SWAY’s CEO, Michael Forland, says: “This is a final test of the principles of our technology. The focus will [be] to test and prove the advanced control system and the patented yaw-mechanism.”

SWAY is currently looking for a financial and industrial partner to bring the offshore wind turbine to the industrialisation stage.

SWAY is targeting markets with deeper waters for its offshore wind technology. Forland says: “The US market is one of the most promising, and SWAY is in the process of establishing a technology partnership with two research institutions in [the] US, [the] Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and [the] National Renewable Energy Laboratory. We experience great attention for floating wind turbines over there.”

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