Not only are wind turbines potentially moving into
urban areas, they’re also moving into the sea. The first floating wind turbine was recently deployed offshore in Brewer, Maine, developed by a team at the University of Maine and supported by the Energy Department, which is ardently backing the future use of offshore wind turbine installations.
Made of a combination of concrete and composites, the floating wind turbine -- a VolturnUS prototype -- is 65 feet tall and a 1:8th scale model of 6-megawatt turbines the University of Maine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center and development partner DeepCWind Consortium hope to one day deploy, according to the university. The turbine was connected to the energy grid off the coast near the town of Castine.
The first offshore floating wind turbine has been deployed off the coast of Brewer, Maine. The project, overseen by the University of Maine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center, is an early attempt to harness some of the strong offshore winds and paves the way for wind farms to be set up 50 miles off the coast where the winds are strong and consistent. Backers of offshore wind turbines believe they can harvest 5 gigawatts of power by 2030. (Source: University of Maine)
The project is an early attempt to harness some of the strong offshore winds and paves the way for wind farms to be set up 50 miles off the coast where the winds are strong and consistent, researchers said. In fact, backers of offshore wind turbines believe they can harvest 5 gigawatts of power by 2030.
“The Castine offshore wind project represents a critical investment to ensure America leads in this fast-growing global industry, helping to bring tremendous untapped energy resources to market and create new jobs across the country,” said Jose Zayas, director of the Energy Department’s Wind and Water Power Technologies Office, in a
press release issued by the department, which is providing $12 million in funds for this particular project over five years.
The University of Maine team used advanced materials to design the wind turbine in an effort to lower the cost and also make it viable for an offshore deployment. The floating turbine uses a semi-submersible platform made of lower-cost concrete and a tower that’s lighter in weight than conventional turbines due to its use of composites, according to the Energy Department.
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/
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.
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
Truchard will be presented the award at the 2014 Golden Mousetrap Awards ceremony during the co-located events Pacific Design & Manufacturing, MD&M West, WestPack, PLASTEC West, Electronics West, ATX West, and AeroCon.
Robots that walk have come a long way from simple barebones walking machines or pairs of legs without an upper body and head. Much of the research these days focuses on making more humanoid robots. But they are not all created equal.
The IEEE Computer Society has named the top 10 trends for 2014. You can expect the convergence of cloud computing and mobile devices, advances in health care data and devices, as well as privacy issues in social media to make the headlines. And 3D printing came out of nowhere to make a big splash.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.