floating 'windcatcher' power plant with multiple turbines electrifies 80,000 homes at once

floating 'windcatcher' power plant with multiple turbines electrifies 80,000 homes at once

Windcatcher with multiple turbines

 

Norwegian company Wind Catching Systems imagines a floating wind power plant on the sea with multiple turbines forming a grid and churning electricity that can power 80,000 households per offshore wind power structure. The company claims that five units of Windcatcher can produce the same amount of electricity that 25 conventional turbines generate. designboom reports that if scaled, the Windcatchers could reduce the costs of wind energy to be competitive with traditional grid-supplied electricity. 

 

Progress has been catching onto the company’s floating wind power venture. Recently, Wind Catching Systems has received a second grant from Enova SF, a Norwegian government enterprise, with a total of 0.9 million USD to support the initial implementation of a full-scale Windcatcher. Through the pre-project, Wind Catching Systems is slated to confirm its technology in use and the cost estimates for a full-scale Windcatcher. 

floating wind power windcatcher
images courtesy of Wind Catching Systems

 

 

Testing the floating wind power

 

‘This is the second grant Wind Catching Systems has received from ENOVA. The support from ENOVA is a strong validation of both our technology and our team. We are now fully focused on maturing our technology towards our first offshore installation,’ says Ole Heggheim, the CEO of Wind Catching Systems.

 

Before the second grant, Wind Catching Systems received a grant of 2.1 million USD from Enova SF to support the design and testing of the wind turbine, planned at Mehuken wind park on the West Coast of Norway. The turbine is dubbed to be installed in 2023 for testing and verification.

floating wind power windcatcher
visualization of 5 windcatcher units producing the same amount of electricity as 25 conventional turbines

 

 

The floating wind power plant Windcatcher is based on a multi-turbine design. The accumulation of wind turbines in  a grid resembles barbed wires hovering on the sea. Wind Catching Systems claims that having multiple turbines on a single floating platform can maximize energy production per floating structure.

 

It can also have a self-contained maintenance system, which eliminates the need for specialized water vehicles to support offshore maintenance operations. The company claims that energy greatly scales with wind speed and that conventional turbines limit energy output by pitching the blades.

floating wind power windcatcher
the floating wind power ‘Windcatcher’ can power 80,000 homes per structure

 

 

Windcatcher claims to generate 5x annual energy

 

With the Windcatcher, a wind power system specifically designed for floating offshore wind, Wind Catching Systems claims that it can solve some of the central challenges facing floating wind: drastically reducing acreage use per MWh of electricity produced while minimizing complexity and cost of operations and maintenance.

 

‘Utilizing the full energy in higher wind speeds and the multirotor effect, the Windcatcher generates 2.5x more annual energy per swept area than a conventional turbine. Having double the swept area of a conventional 15 MW wind turbine, one Windcatching unit will generate 5x the annual energy production,’ the company says.

floating wind power windcatcher
Wind Catching Systems has received grants to support its design, testing, technology, and cost estimate

windcatcher-floating-wind-power-turbine-designboom-ban

Windcatcher from Wind Catching Systems

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