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Ingeteam overcomes a new challenge: harvesting energy from the open sea
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INGETEAM OVERCOMES A NEW CHALLENGE: HARVESTING ENERGY FROM THE OPEN SEA
The project to Optimise the Cost-Effectiveness of Hybrid Platforms, Wind and Wave Power (Orpheo in its Spanish acronym), whose aim is to combine offshore wind and wave energy, is one further example of the key challenges to have been successfully resolved by Ingeteam. From the outset, the objective of the Orpheo project was to combine the force of the wind at sea and the power of the waves to obtain energy, a promising idea that is expected to become a reality this year and which has already complied with the established periods.
Headed up by Ingeteam, and with the participation of other entities such as EnerOcean, the universities of Cadiz and Malaga and PLOCAN (the Oceanic Platform of the Canary Islands), this project is an innovative challenge that has lasted approximately three years. It has been funded by the Spanish Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness and ERDF funds, with a final budget of more than €470,000.
Ingeteam has acted as project coordinator, heading up aspects relating to the control and operational lifetime of the wind turbines. Techniques have been studied that, by means of advanced smart controls, would optimise the cost effectiveness that can obtained from an integrated hybrid floating platform which incorporates both wind and wave power generation, is connected to the power grid and forms part of an offshore renewable energy farm.
Forecasts made at the start of the project some two years ago by IRENA, the International Renewable Energy Agency, estimated that the offshore wind power installed capacity could reach 100 GW by 2030 if the industry continues to innovate and mature at the current pace and, as can be seen, it is heading in the right direction. That said it must be remembered that offshore wind power has become an essential tool for reducing the carbon footprint, meaning that as the installed capacity increases, the availability of suitable sites to deploy new fixed foundation farms reduces. This will drive the installation of wind farms in deeper waters and require the use of floating technologies.
The Orpheo project supports the use of semi-submersible structures that have been constructed under another project being carried out in parallel: the WIP10+, a European initiative under the DemoWind Programme co-financed by Spain’s Centre for the Development of Industrial Technology (CDTI).
The project set out to install the first floating wind power platform in Spain off the coast of Gran Canaria, and that is what it did. The 1:6 scale prototype is 18 metres high and 30 metres wide, including the turbine blades. The design, which is based on the W2Power platform, is triangular in shape. Two of its vertices incorporate the columns that support two wind turbines, while the third houses the power electronics required to convert, store and manage the energy.