Inspenet, November 9, 2023.
A new offshore wind turbine design, featuring a counter-rotating vertical axis, has the potential to double electrical power generation and dramatically reduce the costs of this renewable energy source.
The Norwegian company World Wide Wind is developing wind turbines with a vertical design that promise to be considerably more efficient, powerful and economical than conventional turbines. The company recently announced that the first prototype of this innovative technology will be tested in Vats on the southwest coast of Norway.
According to a statement, its floating wind turbine prototype will have the capacity to generate 30 kW of electricity thanks to the combination of its counter-rotating turbines and its height of 19 meters.
How the wind turbine works
Instead of the conventional horizontal design, this new conception adopts a vertical axis, an approach that makes it more efficient and scalable than other structures. Its rotor is made up of three blades arranged in an inverted ‘V’ shape at an angle of 45 degrees, which allows it to cover a conical area.
That’s not all, since the upper part of the turbine is connected to an internal shaft that acts as a rotor in the electric generator. The lower turbine, for its part, acts as a stator, which is the part of the generator that contains the coils and usually remains static in most generators. This moves in the opposite direction to the rotor, doubling the relative speed of the axles and their electrical generation capacity.
Unlike traditional designs, World Wide Wind’s generator is not located at the top of the pole, but at the base, next to the counterweight and other system components. The company argues that its weight contributes to the stability of the system, ensuring that the tower remains upright even in adverse maritime conditions. Additionally, Norwegian engineers claim that this approach makes it more resistant to vibrations and possible damage.
Another unique feature of this design is that the pole does not remain completely vertical, unlike conventional towers. These wind turbines can automatically tilt in response to wind direction , allowing them to capture energy from any angle and maximize their efficiency.
Likewise, World Wide Wind states that its design has the capacity to reach a height of 400 meters thanks to the use of innovative materials. According to the company, a turbine of these dimensions could generate up to 40 MW, approximately double what the largest wind turbines in the world produce today.
After the implementation of the prototype, the next step will be to develop a 1.2 MW pilot which, according to World Wide Wind, will be ready in early 2025. However, the Norwegians’ plans do not stop there, as their goal is to launch a new 24 MW commercial turbine before 2030.