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ECN publication
Floating offshore wind turbines for shallow waters
Bulder, B.H.; Peeringa, J.M.; Pierik, J.T.G.; Henderson, A.; Huijsmans, R.H.M.; Snijders, E.J.B.; Hees, M.Th. van; Wijnants, G.H.; Wolf, M.J.
Published by: Publication date:
ECN Wind Energy 1-6-2003
ECN report number: Document type:
ECN-RX--03-039 Conference Paper
Number of pages: Full text:
10 Download PDF  

Presented at: European Wind Energy Conference 2003, Madrid, Spain, 16-19 juni 2003.

Bottom mounted offshore wind turbines seem to have a promising futurebut they are restricted to shallow water such as in Northern Europe. Many projects are planned or are in the phase of construction in the North Sea and the Baltic Sea. All projects planned to date are in water depths of up to approximately 25 m. The research project reported in this paper investigated the technical and economical feasibility of floating wind energy systems in deeper waters, of approximately 50 m and deeper. It is assumed that a certain water depth floating wind turbines will have better economics than bottom mounted wind turbines.
Floating wind energy systems seem to have some advantages over bottom mounted wind energy systems, such as:

  • lower cost installation (in a harbour)
  • lower maintenance cost;
  • lower removal cost.
But floating wind energy systems have their own technical challenges, such as:
  • dynamic interactions between floater and wind turbine,
  • floater conceptual design including mooring system, taking into account restriction w.r.t. stability of floater and wind turbine, minimizing wave induced motion, water depth, etc.
This paper summarises the activities undertaken within the Float Wind feasibility study carried out during 2001-2002. Full details are to be found in the Final Report [1], available from ECN or any of the authors.

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