Testing success for French floating wind

Ideol's patented technology is now fully validated Ideol's patented technology is now fully validated

The first operational results of the 2MW Floatgen floating wind turbine have met and exceeded expectations.

The turbine was installed on the Sem-Rev test site off the Atlantic coast of France. Ideol's patented technology is now fully validated and ready for commercial scale deployments.

During the first half of 2019, the floating wind turbine – which is also France’s first offshore wind turbine – produced a total of 2.2GWh and faced significant wave heights up to 6.2 metres (with rogue waves up to 11.7 metres).

The progressive ramp-up of the full-scale demonstrator was carried out as per a carefully planned commissioning protocol initiated as soon as the demonstrator was put into service (September 2018). This technical validation was performed step-by-step, each time the demonstrator was facing specific combinations of wave and wind conditions at sea.  Particularly noteworthy is the fact that the wind turbine was operating and producing power during June 7th’s storm Miguel, when a combination of 4.4-metre significant wave height (waves up to 8.5 metres) and 22 m/s winds (with gusts up to 103 km/h) were observed.

The measurements acquired by more than one thousand sensors installed on all the components of the wind turbine and its substructure have been fully in line with the company’s initial simulations, hereby validating the accuracy of the models developed by Ideol's engineers.

The progressive validation of the different combinations allowed an average availability in excess of 90% to be reached during the second quarter of 2019 (68% for the first quarter) and should allow the final targeted availability to be reached before the end of the year.

According to Ideol, such outstanding results were made possible by the excellent seakeeping performance of Ideol’s patented Damping Pool and the absence of impact of the movements induced by the floater on the power production as shown by a “better than on-shore” power curve.

Ideol further added that maintenance operations were performed in up to 2.3 metres of significant wave height thanks to the floater’s unique easy access design and low freeboard.

Ideol’s technology, which is also being deployed on a second Japanese demonstrator that has faced three typhoons since its commissioning in September 2018, is now claimed to be fully validated and ready for future commercial farms tenders in France, Scotland, Japan and many other locations.

By Jake Frith

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