The Wind Catching System is equipped with small turbines, stands more than 1,000 feet tall, and is situated on a floating platform anchored to the ocean floor. (Image credit: Wind Catching Systems)
Norway-based Wind Catching Systems (WCS) are developing an offshore wind system that will reportedly produce enough renewable energy to power 80,000 homes. A single unit is outfitted with more than 100 tiny turbines, rises around 1,000 feet tall and will see a 50-year service cycle. WCS states the company is planning to build a prototype next year and, if it succeeds, could revolutionize the way wind power is harnessed.
“Wind Catching will make floating offshore wind competitive as soon as in 2022-2023, which is at least ten years earlier than conventional floating offshore wind farms. In co-operation with our main contractor Aibel, we will commercialize this groundbreaking technology that dramatically increases the efficiency of floating wind farms and cuts acreage use by 80%,” states WCS CEO Ole Heggheim. “Our goal is to enable offshore wind operators and developers to produce electricity at a cost that competes with other energy sources, without subsidies. Simply put, we will deliver floating offshore wind at the costs of bottom-fixed technology solutions, which provides great opportunities on a global basis for the Norwegian supplier industry.”
The Wind Catching System prototype will likely be placed in the North Sea, and if successful, WCS will look to California and Japan as potential suitors. (Image credit: Wind Catching Systems)
The Wind Catching System is connected to a buoyant cylinder fill with ballast to make it stable and are anchored to the ocean floor, allowing them to operate in water more than 3,000 feet deep. The rig’s height allows the blades to access faster winds and thus generate more power. The secret lies with the blades, which are 50-feet in length and smaller than conventional turbine blades. It also will pack an internal elevator, which allows for easier maintenance and blade replacement. Moreover, the blades will be manufactured out of aluminum (over fiberglass), which resists corrosion and can be melted down and recycled to produce new blades if needed.
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