Floating wind farms - an efficient source of energy
In Scotland, in 2015, the world's largest floating wind farm was built with five turbines of 6 MW each. Theoretically, it is capable of generating 30 MW, under ideal conditions. The station is located about 25 km from the coast. The government counted on the fact that this station, called Hywind Scotland , can produce about 135 GWh per year.
This station, along with others, has become one of the keys to Scotland's energy success. In 2016, in August, only windmills generated 106% of the electricity needed for the region. True, then the wind speed reached 185 km / h, which is very rare. After almost three years, the wind farm continues to show excellent results.
Its effectiveness over the past three months is 65% of 100% possible. By the way, the idea of the design and the implementation of the project itself is not the merit of the Scots, but of the Norwegians, who completed all the necessary work, from the initial project to the commissioning of the power plant. And it was a great job, as U.S. wind farms have a slightly lower efficiency ratio - about 36.7% at the time of 2017. Even at hydroelectric power stations it is lower than at the Scottish facility, and amounts to 45.2%.
True, it is not very correct to compare the efficiency of a wind farm during winter work when strong winds blow in Scotland. According to the designers of the facility, in the summer months, when the wind is not so strong, the efficiency ratio is about 40%, which, in principle, is also very good. The advantage of floating wind farms can be considered that they can be placed in the regions of the sea or ocean, where the wind rose contributes to the maximum efficiency of the object. Actually, these are the creators of such stations.
Hywind is not in vain built by the Norwegians, who have extensive experience in creating oil platforms on the sea. The design of the platform of the power plant is similar to the oil one - special bar anchors are used to fix it in a certain place. Thanks to them, it became possible to place the object 25 km from the coast. At maximum capacity, the station can provide electricity to 20,000 homes.
Huwind can also survive a severe storm, the station does not have problems in this case. She is able to work even in extreme storms that sometimes occur in the winter months. For example, Hurricane Ophelia did not damage the station, although the winds blew at a speed of 125 km / h. Another storm in December reached a speed of movement of air masses of 160 km / h.
“In the most difficult situations, turbines are automatically blocked, but their work resumes as soon as optimal conditions are restored. In the event of a storm, the turbine blades line up at an angle that allows to reduce the load on the equipment to a minimum, ”the station developer comments on the situation.
According to experts, by 2030 the cost of a megawatt of electricity generated by floating wind farms could drop to $ 50-70.
It is worth noting that in Scotland, about 60% of all oil fields in Europe are located. Despite the huge reserves, the country is still thinking about the future and is promoting green energy. Well, according to analysts from Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), from 2025 the world's fossil fuel consumption will begin to decline, and by 2027 the construction of new solar and wind power stations will become cheaper than the content of existing gas and coal.