ABB_id2059
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.


Hybrid Energy Innovations 2015

Trachte_id2056
Latest Top Stories

High Net-Worth Investors Claim 'All Of The Above' On Energy, Renewable And Otherwise

According to a recent Morgan Stanley poll, high-dollar investors favor investment in renewable energy technologies, such as wind and solar.


U.S. Wind Power Installations Surpassed 4.7 GW Last Year, Although China Still Leads

Bloomberg New Energy Finance reports that U.S. wind installations came back in a big way from a disappointing 2013.


IRS Specifies Performance, Quality Standards For Small Wind Turbines

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently issued guidelines creating safety and performance standards for small wind turbines to be eligible for the 30% investment tax credit.


Hot Times North Of The Border: Canada Tops Previous Record For Installed Wind Capacity

For the second consecutive year, Canada's wind market has bested the country's previous mark for new installations.


Report: Policy Uncertainty Fuels Market Exodus As Firms Bolt North American Wind Industry

The global wind energy supply chain has yet to recover from the slump that began in 2013. In fact, many segments are undergoing a transformation, according to market research firm FTI Consulting.

Hybrid Energy Innovations 2015