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You are here: > News > Nov. 3, 2005

Top 100
Wind power project floating out to North Sea

Norwegian utility envisions a floating 660-foot-tall tower, tethered to sea floor, supporting 95-foot-long blades. Scaled-down 3 MW demo with 14-foot’ blades expected in 2007. If the concept works, Norsk Hydro envisions parks of perhaps 200 windmills, in waters 700-2,200 feet deep.

Memo: Norsk Hydro quit the Energy Business in 2007. (Ref)
Question: Who took over the floating wind turbine project? What's its present disposition?

Adapted by Sterling D. Allan
for Pure Energy Systems News

ILLUSTRATION: Hydro's demonstration project is currently being planned based on windmills that reach 80 meters above the sea's surface and will have a rotor diameter of about 90 meters.

Read more about Hydro's wind power initiatives
Brochure - Floating windmills (PDF 560KB)
Downloadable illustrations:
Floating windmill and anchor system (jpg 1.0MB)
Floating windmill and helicopter (jpg 4.0MB)
Floating windmill - with cross-section (jpg 1.8MB)
Video about the Hywind concept:
(very cool)
Hywind - high broadband
Hywind - low broadband
Hywind - Modem/ISDN
Links don't work for some reason. Go to the bottom of the page on the Norsk press release.

TRONDHEIM, NORWAY -- Norsk Hydro has developed a concept for producing power at sea.  They call it Hywind. Floating concrete construction technology developed for the North Sea oil industry will be applied to offshore windmills.

Model testing is currently under way at Norwegian R&D institute Sintef Marintek’s ocean basin laboratory in Trondheim.

“Hywind is a future-oriented project combining our offshore oil industry experiences with our knowledge of wind power to take advantage of wind resources where it blows most – at sea.  If we succeed, this can become an important part of our future energy supply,” says Hydro’s director of new energy forms, Alexandra Bech Gjψrv.

Hydro is using the ocean basin in Trondheim to simulate wind and wave conditions at sea. A model of the floating windmill has been tested and the results are promising.

They are now evaluating the placement of a windmill in the North Sea to demonstrate that it is possible to build offshore wind parks at sea depths of 200-300 meters.

Hydro has measured wind speeds in the North Sea for more than 30 years. Based on data determining that average wind speeds at sea are higher than on land, Hywind will be exceptionally energy efficient.

Bech Gjψrv emphasizes that Hywind will be a supplement, not a substitute to land-based wind parks.

“Hywind is very well-suited for energy-poor areas where there is little accessible land, but good offshore wind conditions", she says.  Coastal areas stand to benefit the most, though steep fjords and sharply angled underwater cliffs would present a cost deterrent.

A demonstration project is currently being planned based on wind turbines with a power generation capacity of 3 megawatt (MW).

The windmills will reach 80 meters (over 262 ft) above the sea’s surface and will have a rotor diameter of about 90 meters (145 ft approx.). This would leave a clearance for wave action of about 35 meters (about 115 ft.), which should hold turbine blades clear of most storm wave heights.

FUTURE-ORIENTED: "If we succeed, this can become an important part of our future energy supply," says Hydro’s director of new energy forms, Alexandra Bech Gjψrv. She meanwhile emphasizes that Hywind is supplementary to, not a substitute for, land-based wind parks.

According to plans, the demonstration project will start operating in 2007.

The company envisions towering wind turbines with a power capacity of 5 MW and a rotor diameter of approximately 120 meters (~400 feet) -- the width of a football field, including the goal posts.

“The future goal is to have large-scale offshore wind parks with up to 200 turbines capable of producing up to 4 terawatt hours (TWh) per year and delivering renewable electricity to both offshore and onshore activities. This goal is far in the future, but if we’re to succeed in 10-15 years, we have to start the work today,” Bech Gjψrv said.

Four TWh is comparable to the power consumption of some 200,000 average Norwegian households.

Hydro has invested some NOK 20 million into developing the Hywind concept over the past three years. Further realization of research and the demonstration project will require at least another NOK 150 million.

Stansbury Resources concept drawing.

Related Project

The Hywind concept is similar to the non-affiliated Stanbury Resources Inc floating wind turbine platform project announced on Monday, by inventor Tom Lee, Ph.D.

Lee is even more ambitious in his vision, including hydrogen generation and battery storage, to enable the platform to not just supplement grid power, but to serve as a primary provider.

Perhaps Stansbury and Hydro could cooperate.

About Norsk Hydro

Founded 100 years ago, the Norwegian company has a depth of experience to qualify them to successfully accomplish an undertaking such as this.

Hydro is a leading offshore producer of oil and gas, based on a strong position in the development of the Norwegian petroleum industry during the past 40 years. Their world-class project execution skills and expertise in deep waters and rough seas has helped them realize maximum results from their operations in the North Sea and around the world.

They see themselves at the forefront of wind and hydrogen energy production.

Additionally, Hydro is the third-largest integrated aluminum supplier in the world, with a presence on every continent. Their customers include automotive, packaging and building industries.

# # #




Norsk Hydro ASA
Drammensveien 264
N-0240 Oslo

Phone +47 22 53 81 00; Fax +47 22 53 27 25


Cross section illustration of Norsk Hydro's "Hywind" design.

Related Story

See also

Page composed by Sterling D. Allan Nov. 3, 2005
Last updated December 24, 2014





"It is harder to crack a prejudice than an atom." // "I'd rather be an optimist and a fool than a pessimist and right." -- Albert Einstein

ADVISORY: With any technology, you take a high risk to invest significant time or money unless (1) independent testing has thoroughly corroborated the technology, (2) the group involved has intellectual rights to the technology, and (3) the group has the ability to make a success of the endeavor.
All truth passes through three stages:
   First, it is ridiculed;
   Second, it is violently opposed; and
   Third, it is accepted as self-evident.

-- Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860)

    "When you're one step ahead
of the crowd you're a genius.
When you're two steps ahead,
you're a crackpot."

-- Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, (Feb. 1998)

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