An international consortium has embarked on a research and demonstration project investigating the positive wake effects of wind turbines featuring tilted rotors. TouchWind, a Dutch innovator in floating wind technology, spearheads the initiative as it develops a tilting-angled, one-piece rotor floating wind turbine.

The consortium includes Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) from Japan, Dutch knowledge and research institutes TNO and MARIN, electric motors/drives producer Nidec, and rotor blade specialist We4ce.

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Unleashing the potential of tilted rotors

The POWER project, aptly named “POsitive Wake Effects of turbines with tilted Rotors”, aims to demonstrate that offshore wind production costs can be significantly reduced by enhancing energy capture in offshore wind farms. The project focuses on mitigating the notorious “wake effect” that impedes the performance of downstream turbines, ultimately hampering efficiency and power production.

The POWER project aims at clustering wind farms to optimise space usage at sea. The project explores the feasibility of positioning turbines with tilted rotors closer to each other without compromising energy capture efficiency, thereby maximising wind energy production per square kilometre.

‘The POWER project represents a significant step forward in the quest for more efficient and economically viable offshore wind energy production,’ says Leon Laas, project manager TNO wind energy. ‘With the consortium partners, we aim to unlock the full potential of tilted rotor technology.’

Strategic goals

The POWER project has identified two primary goals to drive its research and demonstration efforts. Firstly, it aims to investigate the reduction of wake losses by utilising turbines with tilted rotors to deflect the wake effectively.

Secondly, the consortium seeks to validate the concept that turbines with tilted rotors can act as wind “pullers”, drawing more wind from upper air layers into a wind farm, thereby creating a positive effect. The synergistic combination of these effects could pave the way for wind farms with significantly higher power density.

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Ten prototypes

Within the framework of the POWER project, TouchWind, in collaboration with Nidec and We4Ce, will develop ten prototype turbines featuring tilted rotors with a diameter of 6 metres. The project includes comprehensive field testing, initially on land and subsequently on water.

TNO and MARIN will play a pivotal role in the testing phase, conducting extensive measurements to evaluate various wind farm layouts in terms of configuration and distance, thus validating the concept and numerical models.

The Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) has provided crucial funding for the POWER project, supporting its comprehensive research and demonstration programme.

Picture by Touchwind/TNO.

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