in News Departments > New & Noteworthy
print the content item

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) researchers have been studying a new way to implement offshore wind turbines - by floating them on platforms a hundred miles out to sea where wind gusts are strong and the turbines would be out of sight.

Today's offshore wind turbines usually stand on towers driven into the ocean floor but work only in water depths of about 15 meters or less. Paul D. Sclavounos, a professor of mechanical engineering and naval architecture who has spent decades designing and analyzing large floating structures for deep-sea oil and gas exploration, along with MIT colleagues and NREL's team, has developed an alternative. Their design calls for a tension leg platform (TLP), a system in which long steel cables, or "tethers," connect the corners of the platform to a concrete-block or other mooring system on the ocean floor. The platform and turbine are thus supported not by an expensive tower but by buoyancy.

According to their analyses, MIT says the floater-mounted turbines could work in water depths ranging from 30 to 200 meters. In the Northeast, for example, they could be 50 to 150 kilometers from shore. Encouraged by positive responses from wind, electric power and oil companies, Sclavounos hopes to install a half-scale prototype south of Cape Cod.



Trachte Inc._id1770
Latest Top Stories

Wind And Solar Are Catching Up With Nuclear Power, Says Report

A new report from the Worldwatch Institute says nuclear energy's share of global power production is steadily shrinking. Meanwhile, renewables' share keeps growing.


Could New Desert Plan Spell The End Of California Wind Energy Development?

The California Wind Energy Association says it is disappointed with the draft Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan, which was recently released by state and federal agencies.


New U.S. House Bill Includes Wind PTC Extension

U.S. representatives have introduced the Bridge to a Clean Energy Future Act of 2014, which would extend the production tax credit (PTC) and other provisions through 2016.


Utility-Scale Wind And Solar Keep Getting Cheaper

A new study measures the levelized cost of energy from various technologies and suggests that the costs of utility-scale wind and solar power are catching up with those of traditional sources, even without subsidies.


The Song Remains The Same: Ontario Seeks More Science Before Lifting Offshore Ban

The Ontario government says the nearly four-year-old offshore wind moratorium will remain in place until the province fully understands the technology’s impact on the environment.

Renewable NRG_id1934
Canwea_id1984
Future Energy_id2008
UnitedEquip_id1995