Japan energy company Toda and a team from the Osaka University will develop the world’s largest floating wind turbine according to Niko Asia. Engineers plan to build a prototype turbine that is capable of generating up to 15 MW of electricity. The experiment will be carried out in several stages. The final is supposed to begin in 2025.
The research team will develop a large floating turbine project in 2023. The group is made up of 10 engineers from the University of Toda and Osaka, and specialises in offshore wind turbines and offshore technologies. The major task in that phase of work will be developing computer models to understand the cost of running a floating platform, and to understand the issues with which such a complex building works with the production volume and the transmission of electricity.
In 2024 engineers will build a floating turbine demonstration plant that will generate 10 MW of electricity. In 2025, it is planned to build a turbine with a blades reach about 200 meters, which is three times better than actual similar generating plants. According to preliminary forecasts, such a turbine could produce up to 12-15 MW of electricity.
Compared to stationary wind turbines that are installed on the seabed, floating turbines are more expensive to install and maintain. This factor prevents their large-scale deployment even in Europe, where offshore wind energy has grown significantly in recent years. Even though there is no shallow sea around Japan, the project of floating wind turbines is becoming increasingly attractive. According to experts, the land use potential of floating turbines is three times higher in terms of water than fixed offshore facilities.
A consortium of companies headed by Toda operates a commercial floating turbine off the coast of Nagasaki Prefecture. Of the 2,000 yen of electricity produced at a 2 MW plant, one kilogram is 36. The cost of producing electricity is below 10 yen per kilowatt-hour, and it will make wind turbines competitive with thermal power plants, so it’s necessary to boost offshore turbine capacity.