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Researchers Build Concrete-Composite Offshore Floating Wind Turbine

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Elizabeth M
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Offshore winds have great potential
Elizabeth M   8/28/2013 7:26:50 AM
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I live at the coast and know how much energy potential there is in offshore winds. Projects like this are a good start to harnessing this energy to provide electricity, and I suspect it is the first of many similar efforts in the future. In fact, a Japanese company has built a wind turbine that also has a hybrid design to harvest ocean currents: http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1386&doc_id=265402

This is definitely a space to watch.

Charles Murray
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Re: Offshore winds have great potential
Charles Murray   8/28/2013 4:04:54 PM
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Liz, maybe I missed it in the story, but I'm wondering how far off the shore this wind turbine is being placed. I'm also wondering how they anchor it in place, so it can't be overturned.

a.saji
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Silver
Re: Offshore winds have great potential
a.saji   8/29/2013 12:35:51 AM
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@Murray: I think its being controlled through its weight itself. Normally they control via weight and I guess it's the same theory itself.  

Elizabeth M
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Re: Offshore winds have great potential
Elizabeth M   8/29/2013 11:01:23 AM
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To my knowledge, Chuck, I don't think this is very far offshore, as in the photos of it deployed you can still see land. And apparently there are three concrete hulls that keep it stable rather than an anchor. This story has more details: http://bangordailynews.com/2013/06/13/news/hancock/umaines-floating-prototype-becomes-first-offshore-wind-turbine-to-provide-power-to-us/

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Offshore winds have great potential
Ann R. Thryft   8/29/2013 3:00:17 PM
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Thanks, Elizabeth, for this story. The concrete-composite combo makes a lot of sense. We've covered the use of corrosion-free composites used in pontoons and docks, and combining it with concrete clearly gives stability and weight where needed, as well as lower cost.

Capt. Ron
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Iron
1:8th scale?
Capt. Ron   8/29/2013 8:50:10 AM
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Am I interpreting this correctly? When they say 1:8th scale, they mean they ultimately want to build a wind turbin 520 ft. tall? What happens during the perfect storm?

Ron

Elizabeth M
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Re: 1:8th scale?
Elizabeth M   8/29/2013 11:02:50 AM
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Hi, Capt. Ron, yes you read correctly. In the story link I posted in my previous comment it says the proposed turbines are taller than the Washington Monument. I suppose they will be built solidly enough to withstand the perfect storm, but I guess it would take those type of conditions to find out what happens.

Jim S
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Gold
Concrete- Composite Floating Platform
Jim S   8/29/2013 9:29:07 AM
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Perhaps they should look at some of the offshore production platforms in the North Sea. They have used concrete there for many years. Some platforms float, but most anchor to the sea floor. They hold up well to storms.

Elizabeth M
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Re: Concrete- Composite Floating Platform
Elizabeth M   8/29/2013 11:07:30 AM
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Sounds like those platforms would be a good example to those deploying turbines offshore. I think the floating idea is a good one but anchorage may be a better option, especially to handle severe storms. I suppose it wil be a trial and error situation as some of these early platforms in the U.S. are deployed to see what works.

Jim S
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Gold
Re: Concrete- Composite Floating Platform
Jim S   8/29/2013 11:52:54 AM
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They are all anchored. The Floating type are tethered to the bottom through cables and anchors arranged around it. The others are tall enough that they are towed out floating and then sank so that the bottom is firmly on the sea bed. There have been some tv programs on how it was done.

Elizabeth M
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Blogger
Re: Concrete- Composite Floating Platform
Elizabeth M   9/3/2013 5:17:39 AM
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Thanks for that information, Jim S. I wasn't exactly sure how the floating system works but that makes a lot of sense. I always thought the idea of a "floating" structure was a bit of a misnomer and there had to be some anchorage in there somewhere! So it is true.

Jim S
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Gold
Re: Concrete- Composite Floating Platform
Jim S   8/29/2013 11:52:54 AM
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They are all anchored. The Floating type are tethered to the bottom through cables and anchors arranged around it. The others are tall enough that they are towed out floating and then sank so that the bottom is firmly on the sea bed. There have been some tv programs on how it was done.

Watashi
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Platinum
Re: Concrete- Composite Floating Platform
Watashi   8/29/2013 3:39:11 PM
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I can see the platform surviving a huricane, but not so sure about the composites.  If they build them like the oil rigs, maybe they will only need to replace the blades after big (cat 2+) storms. 

apresher
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Offshore Turbines
apresher   8/29/2013 5:51:07 PM
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From past articles I've done, my understanding from suppliers is that offshore turbines (especially in North America) isn't gaining ground like it is in Europe and other places where available land is a factor. Maintenance costs are high for offshore, for example.

a.saji
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Silver
Re: Offshore Turbines
a.saji   8/29/2013 11:58:01 PM
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@apresher: In anywhere maintenance cost is considered as high most of the time.         

akwaman
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Gold
Re: Offshore Turbines
akwaman   8/30/2013 3:46:35 PM
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@a.saji: It is obvious to most, that the maintenance costs of offshore devices like this will be higher than the terrestrial based versions.  Of course, they may be offset by the fact that no costs at all will be incurred by land rental or purchase.  I personally would wonder if wind turbines in the open ocean would be better served using Darious rotors, for reduced costs of maintenance and safety.  Terrestrial based turbines with the generators at the top are maintained by people climbing them and doing the maintenance.  This might be easier with the Darius rotor in the open ocean, because the generator and gears are at the bottom.  This would also lower thecenter of gravity, making it more stable on a floating platform.

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