New wind catching tech enters commercial development

By Leila Steed24 August 2021

Multi-turbine system for floating offshore wind farms uses 80% less space, is more sustainable and produces cheaper electricity, says Wind Catching Systems

A wind catcher unit Wind Catching System’s multi-turbine lattice design means the floating offshore wind unit takes up much less space

Wind Catching Systems (WCS) is to commercially develop its new wind catching technology for floating offshore wind farms, through a collaborative partnerhsip with Norwegian energy services provider Aibel AS and the country’s Institute for Energy Technology (IFE). 

The multi-turbine technology comprises several 1MW turbines in a lattice structure that “cuts acreage use by 80% and reduces production costs”, when compared to conventional offshore wind farms.

Owned by Ferd AS and investment firm North Energy ASA, WCS is aiming to complete the technical testing and verification of its system by the end of 2021 and plans to launch commercial development solutions in 2022.

According to the company, its wind catching units are five times more efficient than standard wind turbines and that a single unit could produce enough electricity to power around 80,000 households.

This means operators of floating offshore wind facilities will be able to produce electricity at “bottom fixed prices”.

Ole Heggheim, CEO of Wind Catching Systems, said, “Wind Catching will make floating offshore wind competitive as soon as in 2022-2023, which is at least ten years earlier than conventional floating offshore wind farms.

Wind catcher size comparison A size comparison shows the scale of a wind catcher unit

“Our goal is to enable offshore wind operators and developers to produce electricity at a cost that competes with other energy sources, without subsidies.

He added, “Simply put, we will deliver floating offshore wind at the costs of bottom-fixed technology solutions, which provides great opportunities on a global basis for the Norwegian supplier industry.”

The technology, the development of which is also being supported by Innovation Norway, has a design life of 50 year and offers lower maintenance costs than similar existing offshore wind solutions.

According to WCS, its wind catching system will also help to “solve sustainability issues related to the recycling and reuse of turbine blades, marine resources and CO2 emissions from installation and maintenance”.

Rachid Bendriss, investment director at North Energy, said, “Wind Catching will challenge today’s established technology suppliers with its groundbreaking and patented design.

“Should the technology verification confirm what we aim for, there are significant opportunities for Wind Catching Systems’ technology in major development projects in the North Sea, off the U.S. West coast and in Asia in the coming decades.”

 

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