Inspenet, December 16, 2023.
T-Omega ‘s floating wind pyramid is designed with the aim of reducing the cost of offshore wind energy as much as possible. After testing in a wave tank, the company has presented its first prototype in the real world.
The premise behind this innovation is quite simple: eliminate the large central pole that marine turbines have inherited from land-based units. T-Omega argues that a single central tower will only be viable if it has around four tonnes submerged for every ton above the water surface.
Since the growth of wind energy is essential to become efficient and cost-competitive, this involves a considerable amount of weight, generating a proportionately high materials bill and posing various logistical problems related to manufacturing, installation and maintenance.
How does T-Omega’s floating wind pyramid work?
T-Omega’s proposal presents an alternative to the large unidirectional generators present in conventional designs, by introducing a double-sided shaft supported at both ends. Instead of a single tower extending to the waterline, the design incorporates four diagonal supports that converge into what is essentially a pyramidal base, floating at its four corners and anchored loosely to the sea floor.
This arrangement allows the structure to float responsively to changes in wind direction , passively orienting itself towards the wind source at all times.
The benefits of this innovation are notable, with a significant reduction in initial costs due to the use of considerably reduced materials. Furthermore, the manufacturing and implementation process is simple and the wind turbine is easy to install and unhook, and can be towed back to a dock for maintenance. This leads to a notable reduction in operating costs, as large crane ships or other specialized equipment are not needed to carry out repairs.
In September last year, the company stated its goal of achieving a levelized cost of energy of around $50 per megawatt-hour, seeking to be in the range of the best fixed-bottom offshore wind available at the time. Following the successful wave tank testing of a 1/60 scale model, the company moved on to real-world testing with a 1/16 scale prototype.
This prototype was successfully launched off New Bedford, Massachusetts, last week and will remain under evaluation for an unspecified period.
” Our team is thrilled to take the next step in launching our innovative technology ,” said Brita Formato, CEO of T-Omega Wind. “ Floating offshore wind is a critical energy source for achieving multiple state and federal goals by 2030 ,” he added.
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