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Archive for the category “wind”

Wind Power and Electric Vehicles

A few back-of-an-envelope remarks about powering electric vehicles with wind to get an idea of the scale.

Bitchy European remark: why do we need these ridiculous large cars like the Chevy Volt? With an average occupation rate of 1.25 it makes more sense to work with one or two-seater cars only. When by 2030 the electric self-driving car could very well have replaced a large part of the standard five-seater car fleet, you can order a particular car from the public pool that will suit your needs at that particular point in time.

Take the popular e-vehicle Renault Zoe:

[] – Renault Zoe

Battery: 41 kWh
Range: 400 km (optimal conditions) or 300 km (real world)

So with 2017 technology you will get 75 km from 10 kWh.
Note that even the Renault Zoe is unnecessary big, in a world where most cars travel with a single passenger. Let’s assume that by 2030 single seater cars will be available that travel 120 km on 10 kWh instead of 75 km. Let’s link that number to wind energy for normal usage (Netherlands car distance average: 12,000 km/year = 1000 kWh/year). Yearly electricity production of a 5 MW offshore wind turbine: 22.8 GWh.

[] – Adwen’S 5 MW Wind Turbine Reaches A Yearly Output of 22,8 GWH

This means that this single wind turbine can power 22,800 e-vehicles. The Netherlands currently has a (petrol) car fleet of 8 million. If we assume continued private car ownership of 8 million single seater e-vehicles, merely 320 large 5 MW offshore turbines would suffice to keep this fleet going.

In the coming few years five 700 MW offshore windparks are going to be built in the Dutch part of the North Sea, the five largest wind projects in the world. Two of these windparks would cover the private transportation needs of the Netherlands, where the Dutch rail system is already fully covered by wind energy.

There is no fundamental energy problem.

P.S. Energy efficient cars like these are far more suitable for a self-driving car future:

[deepresource] – Meet the Carver

Floating Wind Turbines

[] – Floating wind turbine

Assessment US Offshore Wind Potential


In September 2016, the US government presented a report about the potential of US offshore wind energy, using wind data at 100 m altitude. Assumed confinement: within 200 nautical miles from shore. Total theoretical potential: 10,800 GW or 44,000 TWh per year. But this potential is not going to be realized. To come to a more realistic assessment, all ocean water depths over 1000 m were ignored as well as depths over 60 m in the Great Lakes (because of ice). Next areas with lower average wind speed were eliminated. Applying these restrictions the study arrived at a offshore wind energy potential of more than 2,000 GW or 7,200 TWh per year. Which is still double the current US electricity consumption.

The colored areas are potential offshore wind turbine installation areas.

It needs to be remarked that apparently most of the offshore wind energy potential will have to be realized with floating wind turbines, a technology not much applied yet. Compare these 2,000 GW with the 1,600 GW potential for the North Sea alone, that can be completely realized with monopile structures.

[] – Computing America’s Offshore Wind Energy Potential
[] – National Offshore Wind Strategy: Facilitating the Development of the Offshore Wind Industry in the United States

U.S. Builds First Offshore Wind Farm

11 Dec. 2016 – In the U.S. today, wind power accounts for about five percent of all electricity generation, but a new project aims to change that. A $300 million installation off the coast of Block Island, Rhode Island, takes the renewable energy technology out to sea. Gov. Gina Raimondo anticipates the project is the beginning of a new industry, but some locals are skeptical. Mike Taibbi reports.

Five French made Alstom Haliade 150 6 MW turbines, 30 MW, $300 million. Water depth 23 m. The turbines began producing power in May 2017.

[] – Block Island Wind Farm
[] – Block Island Wind Farm
[Google Maps] – Block Island

Inside a Wind Turbine

Denmark – Offshore Wind Power Hub

Dutch Offshore Wind Energy

Transporting Large Rotor Blades

Transporting the world’s longest wind turbine blade on Danish roads: LM 88.4 P

Bolk Transport – Transport of windturbines in The Netherlands

Read more…

The Enormous Energy Potential of the North Sea

90% of the world’s offshore wind projects occur in the North Sea

[] – This database gives an overview of all offshore wind park projects, ranging from planned to commissioned. You can see with a glance of an eye that more than 90% of all offshore wind activity takes place in the North Sea area.

How big is the electricity generation potential of the North Sea?


[] – Sustainable Energy

On page 25 it is claimed, quoting from the Czisch book pictured below, that the North Sea area with a depth less than 45 meter encompasses 200,000 km2. In theory the potential for electricity generation is 1600 GW or three times the EU consumption. But there are other European waters, adding 400,000 km2 more. Even if rigorous restrictions are applied it is obvious that huge amounts of electricity can be generated from offshore.

Gregor Czisch – Scenarios for a Future Electricity Supply: CostOptimised Variations on Supplying Europe and its Neighbours with Electricity from Renewable Energies

Offset to the scale of their countries, especially the Dutch and Danes are the lucky ones, who can become major electricity producers and exporters into the EU.

Rotterdam Harbor Flirts With Building 250m High Wind Turbines of 50 MW Each

In a not too distant past (until ca. 2003 after which Asia took over), Rotterdam was the largest harbor in the world, thanks to its very advantageous location in the Rhine and Maas river delta, potentially servicing a European Hinterland of 500 million people. These folks from Rotterdam are no strangers to prestige projects.

In order to cope with the ever growing flow of goods, Rotterdam acquired a new piece of reclaimed land in the North Sea, called “Tweede Maasvlakte” (“Second Maas River Plain”).

Construction Tweede Maasvlakte since 2009

Last year the Rotterdam Greens party proposed to use the Tweede Maasvlakte to realize an extremely ambitious renewable energy project: building 250m high mega-wind turbines of 50 MW each. Note that the largest wind turbines on earth and currently in test phase can generate 8 MW max.:

[] – Mogelijk ‘reuzewindturbines’ in Rotterdam

The Rotterdam municipality accepted the plan. The point is: where to get 50MW windturbines? Enter the University of Virginia and wind-turbine giants General Electric and Siemens. These parties are working on a wind-turbine concept called Segmented Ultralight Morphing Rotor (SUMR), see video above. It will take quite a few years though for this concept to mature, no doubt to the relief of the treasurer of the city of Rotterdam.

[] – University of Virginia (UVA) – 50 MW Segmented Ultralight Morphing Rotors for Wind Energy
[] – Gigantic Wind Turbine With 650 Foot Blades Will Channel the Power of Hurricanes
[] – Mammoth 50 MW Wind Turbine Blades Could Revolutionize Offshore Wind In US
[Google Maps] – Location “Tweede Maasvlakte”

Nuon Dismantles Offshore Wind Farm in the Netherlands

No this is not the beginning of the end of offshore wind energy, it is merely a sign of the wind energy sector achieving maturity. After 22 years of service these four wind turbines of 0.5 MW each with sub-optimal 2-blades, located in Medemblik in the North-West of the Netherlands had reached economic end of life and had become an embarrassement and were standing in the way. Youtube text:

Nuon has dismantled four offshore wind turbines with a total capacity of 2 MW at the Lely wind farm in Ijsselmeer, some 600 metres off the port of Medemblik. The wind farm has been in service for 22 years and is the first offshore wind farm operated by Nuon to be decommissioned and dismantled. Nuon decided to decommission the wind farm as it was approaching the end of its operating life and was becoming less profitable. Watch the time lapse video of the dismantling which was completed in three weeks.

New massive wind-parks are planned/realized for the neighboring Wieringermeer:

Read more…

The Giants of a New Energy Age

Aeolus animation

We’re all familiar with the images of offshore giants of the outgoing oil age: the oil platforms of the North Sea, the Gulf of Mexico and Brasil. But the new giant wind turbine installation vessels of the upcoming wind energy age aren’t any less impressive.

[] – Value Offshore Wind Installation Vessels Set to Soar:

The global market value for offshore wind turbine and foundation installation vessels will increase more than fivefold, says research and consulting firm GlobalData. Namely, the market value is set to increase from an estimated USD 0.56 billion in 2014 to approximately USD 2.93 billion by 2020, representing an impressive Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 30%…
Europe is by far the biggest market for offshore wind power, estimated to account for over 90% of global turbine installation vessel revenue in 2013, and GlobalData expects this market to see substantial future growth. Despite the many projects currently planned or under construction in Europe, a limited number of offshore wind-specific installation vessels are operating at present, although this number will have increased from just two in 2005 to more than 40 by the end of 2014, according to the report’s findings.

That was 2014, now is 2017. Have a look at this database of (mostly) dedicated wind farm vessels:

[] – Heavy maintenance and construction vessels

244 heavy lifting and construction
268 construction support ships
519 wind farm service vessels

A few ships from this database for which videos could be found:

Aeolus, Van Oord, Rotterdam, The Netherlands [Current location]

Neptune, DEME, Zwijndrecht Belgium [DEME fleet overview]

Innovation, DEME, Zwijndrecht, Belgium. Built in Bremerhaven, Germany. [Current location]

Pacific Orca. Registered in Cyprus. Built by Samsung in South Korea. Owned by Swire Pacific Offshore, Singapore. Operates in the North Sea. [Current location]

A2SEA Sea Challenger, Fredericia, Denmark. Built by Cosco Shipyard Group Co. Ltd. China. [Current location]

Blue Amber, German construction proposal.

MPI Adventure, Cosco Nantong Shipyard, China. Owned by Adventure Shipping BV, The Netherlands. [Current location]

Gemini Wind Park Construction Highlights

Veja Mate offshore wind farm installation (Germany)

Working with these kind of ships can be risky. Here an example where one of the legs broke off (Angola, oil exploration, not wind installation)

Wind Server, DBB Jack-Up Services, Aarhus, Denmark. Built by Nordic Yards in Wismar, Germany [Current location]

Brave Tern, Norway. Fred Olsen Wind Carrier. Registered in Malta. [Current location]

Bold Tern, Norway. Fred Olsen Wind Carrier. Registered in Malta. [Current location]

[5 days on Brave Tern & 5 days on Bold Tern]

MPI Enterprise, MPI Offshore, registered in The Netherlands. Renamed from Victoria Matthias. Built by Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering. [Current location]


Zwijndrecht 15 January 2014 – DEME has ordered two new vessels serving the offshore energy market. Contracts have been signed with shipyards La Naval in Spain and Uljanik in Croatia to build respectively the multipurpose vessel “LIVING STONE” and the self-propelled jack-up vessel “APOLLO”. Both vessels will be delivered in 2017.

Sea Jack, A2SEA, Denmark. Built by Ravenstein BV, The Netherlands in 2003. [Current location]

Sea Worker capsized near Denmark. Jackup operations are risky.

Seajacks Leviathan. Seajacks UK, registered in Panama. [Current location]

Seajacks Scylla. Seajacks UK, registered in Panama. [Current location]

Seajacks Kraken. Seajacks UK. Dual mode oil/gas and wind power installation. Completed a 15 month contract with DONG Energy to perform wind farm installation work at the Walney wind farm located in the Irish Sea [Current location]

Gemini 600 MW Wind Park Operational


One of the largest offshore wind parks in the world has become operational today in the North Sea, 85 kilometers from Eemshaven, in the Groningen province, the Netherlands.

Core data:

  • Siemens Turbines of 4 MW each: 150
  • CO2 reduction 1.25 million ton
  • Price 2.8 billion euro
  • New operational jobs: 75-100
  • Man year to build: 1250
  • Area 68 km2
  • Share contribution Dutch electricity production 2.5%
  • Electricity price: €170/MWh

The wind park is expensive but helped bringing down the price of new wind farms considerably. Meanwhile a consortium around Shell will build the 700 MW wind farm Borssele III/IV for €54,40/MWh or 1/3 of Gemini, after Dong won the bid for Borssele I/II 700 MW for €72,70/MWh. Both wind parks are expected to be operational by 2020. Three more tenders for 700 MW wind parks are planned and expected to begin producing electricity by 2023. After that installation of further new wind parks will really pick up pace with the ultimate potential of delivering electricity to 100 million people all over Europe.

[] – Gemini official site
[] – Gemini live data
[] – Gemini free app for iOS
[] – Gemini free app for Android
[] – Gemini offshore windpark officieel geopend
[] – Gemini-Windpark in Gebruik Genomen
[] – Large number of hires photos
[] – De windreus van Nederland ligt boven de Wadden

Laying cables from the Dutch coast to Gemini

1400 MW Gemini follow-up projects Borssele I/II/III/IV, 22 km out of the coast of the Zeeland province in the SW
Planned windparks in North Sea

Ampyx Kite Power

[source] Wind energy kite “airstrip”. After the kite is airborne it will continuously fly an 8-shaped trajectory and generate electricity. The foundation needs to be far less robust than with conventional wind turbines that can weigh 1000 ton or more.

So you thought that wind power technology has matured and that the three blade rotor is the alpha and omega in harnessing the energy contained in air flows? Think again. There is a promising alternative for these conventional giant machines and their massive towers: fast moving kites. The promoters of this new technology believe that kites with a span-width of 28 m could be a much cheaper alternative for the thousands of planned North Sea offshore mega machines of 8 MW and more. Alternatively these gliders can be operated from floating platforms as well, making the technology suitable irrespective of sea depth.

Richard Ruiterkamp of the Dutch company Ampyx Power says that the first test phase has been successfully completed with two 5.5 m prototypes. Now a last test phase is planned with a AP3 prototype of 12 m span-width and 250 kW power. The Dutch authorities refused to give permission for a test site located in the Dutch North Sea dunes, so Ireland has been chosen as an alternative for test scheduled for next year. The project began in 2004 and meanwhile 22 million euro have been burned. The AP4 will be the first commercial energy kite with a span-width of 28 m and 2 MW power.

The source of energy is not a propeller but the winch that alternatively rolls out and in. When the kite rises more energy is generated than required to roll up the winch cable during descent.

[] – More detailed explanation here

[] – Nederlandse stroomvlieger neemt het op tegen Google

Mitsubishu Hydraulic Driven 7MW Offshore Wind Turbine

Hydraulics topic starts at [0:25].

Youtube text: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries worked with Artemis Intelligent Power to build this prototype 7MW offshore wind-turbine which is now on test at Hunterston in Scotland. The video shows the rotor blades being made and the building and testing of the wind turbine’s Digital Displacement® hydraulic transmission at Yokohama.

Youtube text: Construction of the largest wind turbine in diameter in the world at 167m. The sea angel was designed by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. Construction was in December 2014. Working with SSE, MHI Vestas, Artemis Intelligent Power, Innovate UK, and Department for Business Innovation and Skills to complete.

The Sea Angel Turbine is 7MW output and located within 1 mile of Hunterston Nuclear Power Station in Renfrewshire, West Scotland.

[] – Mitsubishi 7MW Sea Angel Floating Turbine
[] – Hello SeaAngel: Hydraulic drive train could provide 7 MW offshore turbine
[] – Hydraulic Wind Turbines?

P.S. in this design the generator is still located in the nacelle.

Hydraulic Windpark North Sea?


In conventional wind turbines heavy generators are located at the top of a wind turbine, requiring heavy towers. As a rule of thumb: 1000 kilo less generator weight implies 1900 kg less tower weight. The Mexican researcher Antonio Jarquin Laguna wrote a simulation-based Phd thesis at the Delft university in the Netherlands to investigate if it was possible to substantially reduce nacelle weight. He explored the idea to skip the generator-at-the-top completely and replace it with a much lighter pump (ca. 50% less weight). Several wind turbines could contribute to hydraulic pressure, to be converted at a central location with a few large Pelton turbines. The gain would be lighter wind turbines.

[] – Onderzoek naar ‘hydraulisch’ windpark op zee door TU Delft
[] – Noordzeemolens als waterkrachtcentrale
[] – Centralized electricity generation in offshore wind farms using hydraulic networks
[] – Goodbye gearbox, hello hydraulics (US design 2012)
[] – Hydraulic Wind Turbines?
[] – Hydraulic drive system
[] – Hydraulic machinery
[] – Hydraulic motor
[] – Mass, Bernoulli and Energy Equations (pdf)

Utility Scale Dutch Community Wind


The 20 year old Zeewolde onshore windfarm located in Flevoland, the Netherlands is approaching end-of-life and will be “repowered”: 200 old smaller, technically outdated 850 kW wind turbines, replaced by 93 larger modern ones of 3.5 MW, increasing electricity production 2.5-fold. Price tag: 400 million euro. Required are 80 million euro to leverage the remaining 320 million in bank loans. The old wind park is owned by ca. 200 private citizens, many of them boeren (farmers).

What is unique about the new project is that a new financial participation model will be applied as well as the huge scale (93 turbines, producing 350 MW). A new wind cooperation called De Nieuwe Molenaars (the New Windmillers) was established earlier this year and 50 citizens joined from the start; the organization aims for at least further 1000 private participants. Scheduled delivery date windfarm 2019, production in 2020. Locals will be allowed to participate first. Estimates are that wind parks up to 1000 MW can be financed this way.

[] – Biggest Dutch onshore wind farm to be community owned
[] – REScoop paves the way for Europe’s largest community energy wind farm
[] – De Nieuwe Molenaars
[Google Maps] – Location, Gruttoweg, Zeewolde

Read more…

E.ON to Invest Millions in Energy Kites

The general idea is: at 450 m altitude the winds are much stronger and persistent than near the ground. So have an air-born kite with propellers generate energy for you and send it to earth through the cable. Typical power gain: 30 households. Prototype installation to be build in Ireland by German energy giant E.ON and Dutch startup Ampyx Power. A power plane lifts off on its own and once at operational altitude starts to generate energy. Claim: 20 times as much energy per installed device mass unit as conventional wind turbines.

Obviously most suitable for not too densely inhabited areas.

[] – E.ON Invests In Innovative Drone-Based Airborne Wind Energy
[] – E.ON Invests Millions in Flying Wind Turbines
[] – List of airborne wind energy organizations
[] – Dutch company Ampyx Power, that will cooperate with E.ON

[] – Zweefvliegtuig gaat groene stroom opwekken, niet hier maar in Ierland

Plane (drone) flies attached to a cable in 8-shapes. Power: 2 MW.

Read more…

Top 10 Onshore Wind Turbine Manufacturers, 2016 (GW)

[] – Vestas Reclaims World’s Top Wind Turbine Manufacturer Spot

[] – Offshore Top 10:

  1. Siemens
  2. Vestas
  3. GE Energy
  4. Senvion
  5. Sinovel
  6. Alstom
  7. Areva
  8. Clipper
  9. Doosan
  10. Gamesa

IceWind – Small Scale Wind Power

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