One of the largest vertical axis wind turbines in the world will be installed off the shores of France. The 2MW Vertiwind will go through a testing phase in 2012. Once that phase is complete, it will be moved offshore to become a floating vertical axis wind turbine. The testing will take place near Marseilles and the turbine should be ready for offshore implementation in 2013-2014.
Wind turbines have been increasing in popularity due to increased environmental efforts by dedicated people and companies. There are very few complaints with the machines but when there are complaints, they are usually due to the size and noise, although it should be noted that vertical axis wind turbines are very quiet as opposed to the more traditional horizontal axis wind turbines. By installing the turbines offshore, they will neither be seen nor heard.
The Vertiwind will operate offshore in deep water of at least 50 meters. Based on the concept, the actual machine will have a rotor measuring 50 meters in diameter with three 70 meter tall blades. These blades are angled at 120 degrees and will be connected to the floater by a pole or struts. Depending on the area’s seabed conditions, the unit will be connected to the bed with drag anchors or piles by use of a chain and wire three point spread.
The video above shows a simulation of the Vertiwind offshore floating vertical axis wind turbine in motion. Vertiwind plans to have another project completed by 2015 with a 13 turbine floating, wind farm totaling 25MW.
The impact offshore floating vertical axis wind turbines such as the Vertiwind will have on energy conservation efforts remains to be seen. As concerned people and companies lean more toward green power in their efforts to reduce dependency on the grid and save money, we may very well see many more of these types of offshore floating turbines in the future.