Norway’s Wind Catching Systems Unveils 1000 ft Tall Multi-turbine Floater

Is the basic design used in offshore wind production today the right one? Is a technology based on that of old Dutch corn mills truly the most efficient method for offshore wind power production? Is the current technology, while performing well on land and bottom-fixed offshore developments, the best system on a floater?

These are some of the questions the founders of Wind Catching Systems (WCS), a Norwegian green tech company, wrestled with while seeking to radically reform offshore wind technology. What solution did they invent? An enormous 1,000 feet tall floating wind turbine array that is said to be capable of generating 5 times the annual energy produced by the world’s biggest single turbines, enough to power 80,000 European households. And it does all this at costs which are competitive with grid prices.

How does this technology of titanic proportions function? Wind Catcher has an integrated substation that comprises turret and mooring using well known technology from O&G industry. It reduces ocean bottom impact through high unit production.

As we know, energy scales exponentially with wind speed. Conventional turbines limits energy output above 11-12 m/s by pitching the blades. Utilising the full energy in higher wind speeds and the multirotor effect, the Wind Catcher generates 2.5 times more annual energy per swept area than a conventional turbine, given that it has double the swept area of a conventional 15 MW wind turbine.

Consequently, five Wind Catching units can produce the same amount of electricity as 25 conventional turbines. Additionally, the system comes with significant scaleability potential for future reductions.

WCS has an ambition to supply the world with affordable and sustainable floating offshore wind energy at grid parity. Following on the idea that a multitude of small turbines give a much better result per area than a big turbine, the company worked in its first design, whose guiding principles were easy maintenance, durability and simplicity, in 2017.

In 2020, Ferd and North Energy came in as WCS’s first external investors, which was the beginning of a solid financial foundation to further develop the technology. Today the company’s key contributors and suppliers include Aibel, Institute for Energy Technology, and Innovation Norway.

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Soumya Duggal

Soumya Duggal

Soumya is a master's degree holder in English, with a passion for writing. It's an interest she has directed towards environmental writing recently, with a special emphasis on the progress being made in renewable energy.

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