have installed the world's first large-scale floating wind turbine approximately 12km south east of Karmøy in Norway.
The turbine is part of the Hywind project developed by StatoilHydro. Siemens supplied the SWT-2.3MW wind turbine and Technip, under contract with StatoilHydro, supplied the floating structure, made up of a steel floater filled with ballast, extending 100m beneath the surface and fastened to the seabed by three anchor wires.
The Hywind turbine has a rotor diameter of 82m and can be installed in water depths of between 120-700m. According to Siemens, its floating concept could pave the way for new possibilities in offshore wind-turbine technology by allowing turbines to be placed more freely at sea.
Both companies have worked together to develop the control system for the turbine to address the special operating conditions of a floating structure. In particular, the control system makes use of the turbine's ability to reduce part of the wave-induced motions of the floating system.
Henrik Stiesdal, chief technology officer at Siemens Wind Power Business Unit, said: ‘Just as when we built the world’s first offshore wind farm 18 years ago this project has its particular challenges.
‘We have created an advanced system that we trust will be capable of managing the special operating conditions of the floating turbine. Now as then, Siemens is demonstrating its innovative capabilities, and now as then, we are hopeful that this could lead to the opening of a complete new business area.'
Over the next two years, the floating wind turbine will undergo a series of tests and will be connected to the local grid to begin producing power by mid-July.