DeepWind is a 4 year project, funded by FP7 - Future Emerging Technologies, and runs from 1 October 2010 to 30 September 2014.
Offshore wind energy will play a steadily increasing role and calls for dedicated technology rather than being based on onshore technology that in principle just is transported to sea environments. The hypothesis of this project is that a new wind turbine concept developed specifically for offshore application has potentials for better cost efficiency than existing offshore technology. Based on this hypothesis the project has the overall objective to explore the technologies needed for development of a new and simple floating offshore concept with a vertical axis rotor and a floating and rotating foundation. Additionally, the objective is to develop calculation and design tools for development and evaluation of very large wind turbines based on this concept.
Description of work
The new proposed simple floating offshore wind turbine concept consist of a long vertical tube that rotates in the water, a vertical axis rotor at the top, a bottom based generator and a sea-bed fixing system at the bottom. However, though being simple, the technology behind the concept presents extensive challenges needing explicit research, especially: dynamics of the system, pultruded blades with better material properties, sub-sea generator, mooring and torque absorption system, and torque, lift and drag on the rotating and floating shaft foundation. In order to evaluate the concept against floating offshore horizontal axis wind turbines, exploration of new technologies is needed for development of the individual components, and for evaluation of the overall concept. These technologies comprise: 1) numerical tools for prediction of energy production, dynamics, loads and fatigue, 2) tools for design and production of blades 3) tools for design of generator and controls, 4) design of mooring and torque absorption systems, and 5) knowledge of friction torque and lift and drag on rotating tube.The technologies need verification, and in the project verification is made by: 6) proof-of principles testing of components and a small kW sized technology demonstrator, 7) integration of all technologies in demonstration of the possibility of building a 5MW wind turbine based on the concept, and an evaluation of the perspectives for the concept. 
Six work packages comprise research in key technologies, in which development of tools for optimization and design is substantial elements. One work package comprises demonstration of the concept feasibility with the demonstrator and dedicated experiments. One work package integrates all technologies in demonstration of the possibility of building a 5MW wind turbine based on the concept, and the outlook of a 20MW turbine. One work package associates dissemination and exploitation of the results, and one with management.

Expected results and Exploitation Plans
The project comprises research on an emerging high risk energy technology. The project is to a large extent based on previous knowledge and development in vertical axis technology, but it is combined with recent deep sea-based offshore technologies and with advanced, large scale blade pultrusion technology in order to establish a new field of development. The expected results will reflect this new combination of different technologies, and will primarily give answers to whether the proposed technology has a chance to emerge into a development of large scale wind turbine systems based on the proposed concept. More specifically, the project work packages will result in a range of proof-of-principle tests and development of a toolbox of design tools that will support the overall key question.
The development of the aero-elastic code and the verification in tests is a main result that will contribute to rapid concept development and up-scaling in future projects. The work packages on sub-systems will reveal the weak points of the proposed concept and will present realistic design solutions that can be used in prototype constructions.

The project results will first of all be exploited by the project partners that will gain substantial knowledge for development of the concept in future projects. The project consortium will with the background of this project gain the prerequisites necessary for prototyping and later up-scaling to very large systems. Spin-offs in the new field of technology may transform into potential patents. The results are disseminated for public awareness, making the technology socially acceptable and widening information for the wind energy industry and power distributors for an emerging technology. The project duration is three years, and two PhD's and two Post Docs will be connected to the project.


Page updated  by   

Uwe Schmidt Paulsen
Senior Scientist
Wind Energy Division