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Floating Offshore/ EWEA Offshore 2011

by Crazy Horse Fri Dec 2nd, 2011 at 04:20:29 PM EST

CH knows he's supposed to preparing for his next birthday, but he's had so many already that they tend to blur. So he goes back to how he began in wind. 1974, met the man who became one of my mentors, who introduced me right then to the idea of floating wind.

The Captain is no longer with us, but he would be amazed that it's finally beginning, and amazed that it's taken this sick civilization so long.

EdP has installed a normal Vestas machine on a floating tripod, just in time to make a splash at Offshore 2011.   Read it here

The austerity mongers might miss the significance, but here's a big step for a Portugal which used to rule the waves. And this tripod floater design was first diagramed for me at a backroom beer fest of the Netherlands contingent at the very first EWEA Offshore event, Brussels 2002. It's reality now. (I still have the placemat, unless i gave it to the Captain.)

His were different, but the thought was the same. Here's the cover of an early National Geographic.


Captain Wm. Heronemus, USN ret., and founder of the first PhD. engineering program for wind at UMass Amherst, would have taken this breakthrough as just the first. Partly because he had different ideas, like using cheap, strong offshore winds and semi-submersible structures to produce hydrogen fuel, or ammonia, or right down the list.

As the chief designer of the Nautilus Class of nuclear submarines, the very first in the world, he would have wanted to use the ocean as the yaw bearing, because it already exits and you don't have to pay for it. But he'd still be pleased that we're making progress.

The winds offshore are the most consistent, and least turbulent globally. (Turbulence is the enemy of wind turbines.) But the rest of the world is not gifted with the underwater pool table cartographers call the North Sea, with thousands of square km <45m depth. So floating will be very important for the world.

So this diary, in honor of a milestone in floating windpower, is dedicated to my mentor, the man who began it all.


(he didn't have a computer back then, but he did have a visionary brain.)

This is also a diary to discuss what happened at EWEA Offshore 2011. I took not one photo, so hopefully there's some help out there. (J and kranky karsten, i'm looking at you.)

At Brussels in 2002, there were perhaps 150 people, if you count me. This year, over 8,200. Now we get serious.

(Yo Bill, you watching?)

This is also a diary for staff at the ECB, the EIB, and those who haven't swallowed the austerity kool-aid. This is where we go. Your children will thank you.

Display:
I'm serious, i'm busy preparing for another fookin' birthday. I'd like some assistance in filling out this diary, because we need to let people know what's necessary for their survival. There's much on the internet about The Captain, and how he began the first training program for wind experts, who now are in positions of power in governmental agencies and companies throughout the amurkan scene.

But Europe has now taken the sceptre, so let's get crackin' on detailing where we're going.

I could also write about another of my mentors, who designed the rotor for the historical Gedser turbine, and who began the wind program at Risoe labs, where the Danish industry was supported and birthed from the beginning. (Helge Petersen, are you watching as well?)

As birthday boy, i can't be expected to do this on my own.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin

by Crazy Horse on Fri Dec 2nd, 2011 at 04:42:20 PM EST
Jeez, how many fooking birthdays does one person have to prepare for? After all, past 30 its only the one's ending in 0's that count. I had a b'day this year, but then I'm off until 2021, should I last so long.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Sat Dec 3rd, 2011 at 09:43:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That position is untenable. Why do you feel it's only the one's ending in 0's that count? Each year is special and unique and worthy of its own celebration. The longer you live the more fooking birthdays you get to prepare for. Simple as that.
by sgr2 on Sun Dec 4th, 2011 at 09:15:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Now, there's a mite of a difference between a position being untenable and being one you disagree with.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Sun Dec 4th, 2011 at 12:58:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Okay. I agree.
by sgr2 on Sun Dec 4th, 2011 at 01:14:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]

World's largest offshore wind energy event ends on an upbeat note

An EWEA report said the increased electricity will also generate a surge of new jobs -- close to 300,000 in the EU offshore wind power sector by 2030.

The EWEA report, Wind in Our Sails, added areas for growth in offshore wind energy include wind turbines and turbine component manufacturing as well as substructures, vessels, electrical infrastructure including high voltage subsea cables, and ports.

In a video presentation, Günther Oettinger, the EU's Energy Commissioner, noted that the offshore wind industry has become a major industrial player.

"Offshore wind power represents a powerful domestic answer to Europe's energy supply and climate challenge," Oettinger said.

(...)

Financing can still be arranged for expensive offshore wind farm projects despite the ongoing debt crisis, bankers, investors and developers taking part in a panel said.

Sean Klimczak, Managing Director in the Private Equity Group of Blackstone, said he is "relatively optimistic about the opportunities" to raise money for European offshore wind farms.

Agreeing, Jerome Guillet, of Green Giraffe Energy, said there is enough financing money available today for the offshore wind sector. "The market is growing and the money is there for it to continue to grow," Guillet added.

Jorg Schroder, head of project financing for PNE Wind, a German wind farm developer, said EWEA's event was well run.

"For us, it was good to meet so many people in one place," said Schroder. "It's a well organised conference and exhibition. I can't see how you could do it better."

The conference attracted approximately 8,200 participants, featured 23 sessions and more than 480 exhibitors. Media interest was also significant: there were at least 250 online references to the event, three wire agencies and approximately 20 newspapers published stories.



Wind power
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Fri Dec 2nd, 2011 at 04:52:50 PM EST
Any development of combined wind/wave platforms to reduce intermittency and optimise the use of the platforms and cabling infrastructure??

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Dec 2nd, 2011 at 05:14:02 PM EST
There is no such thing as the optimization of platforms - the foundations for wind turbines are custom designed for each turbines (because, strangely enough, they have to carry serious loads) and mixed used is not recommended.

You could optimize cables, but this is already done by having large wind farms which fully use the capacity of a given cable.

The best place to do a mix of technologies is the grid itself - it is completely inefficient to try to have each producer be a perfectly balanced supplier - better to do the fine tuning of the system at the system-level, where all the individual movements are blended and blunted, and the adaptation effort can be smaller, in aggregate.

Wind power

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Fri Dec 2nd, 2011 at 05:36:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I was referring to floating platforms which can also be used to support wavebob or other water turbines - which would dampen the yaw of the platform - with the above surface element used to support a wind turbine.  I'm not suggesting trying to balance production at a platform level - merely suggesting that if you have a floating platform already built, you might as well use it both above and below the waterline. Of course you may be right in suggesting a mixed load of wind and wave stresses could require a stronger platform that would be more expensive to build.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Dec 2nd, 2011 at 08:14:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ah Jerome, you marvel. I keep trying to find a succinct formulation, to refute all the nonsense about having to balance at the level of one turbine, one wind farm, one technology. And there you've done it in one beautiful paragraph. These words I'll treasure and propagate, with credit where credit's due:

The best place to do a mix of technologies is the grid itself - it is completely inefficient to try to have each producer be a perfectly balanced supplier - better to do the fine tuning of the system at the system-level, where all the individual movements are blended and blunted, and the adaptation effort can be smaller, in aggregate. Jerome a Paris, 2011

by LondonAnalytics (Andrew Smith) on Sun Dec 4th, 2011 at 04:43:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
At, I believe an ARPA-E event, one of the companies was a developing of 'bag' storage -- inflating bags at the bottom of the ocean when there is excess energy to provide stabilization of power supplies. Can't, at the moment, recall the company (have their material somewhere ...).  Clearly, this is something that could be associated with offshore wind facilities. Now, that would be dual use of cables, no?

Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart. NOW!!!
by a siegel (siegeadATgmailIGNORETHISdotPLEASEcom) on Thu Dec 8th, 2011 at 08:02:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Photos from the-party-to-be-at-EWEA-Offshore here. How many ETers can you find?

It was fun to have people (including senior lawyers and people carrying the name of their not-small corporations) impressed that we could get so many top people from the industry at an event, despite being only 18-months old (and there being 3 competing parties the same evening).

It was even better to have all these people notice that (i) it is possible to have fun at a corporate party, with people staying willingly at the event long beyond the polite-hour (the zoo staff had to kick out the last visitors at 3am or so), and (ii) networking is actually easier when you invite people who are genuinely happy to see each other - and don't have to prove they belong.

Wind power

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Fri Dec 2nd, 2011 at 05:32:09 PM EST
any giraffes left over ? :-))

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Dec 3rd, 2011 at 06:45:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Gerry was left behind the next day.

It's inhuman, all that greenwashing.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Dec 3rd, 2011 at 09:12:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
yes, plenty. You'll need to come to Paris to get them, though.

Wind power
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sat Dec 3rd, 2011 at 09:51:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
When do we get the "Green giraffe handout" meetup ? :)

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères
by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Sat Dec 3rd, 2011 at 11:51:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Feel free to organize it :)

Wind power
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sat Dec 3rd, 2011 at 12:22:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, I only recognise your good self and CH, but I couldn't help but notice the not-very-green gas heating you had in the tent. Tut tut ;-))

Also I noticed you had fine wine, proper cocktails but I bet that pils I saw was some nasty crappy stuff (Amstel?). Next time call me and I'll suggest a couple of decent acceptable beers.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Dec 3rd, 2011 at 06:56:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well when the next one is held in London, He'll have you behind the bar :)

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Dec 3rd, 2011 at 09:21:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, I only recognise your good self and CH

Same here, though the second took a while: I never met CH, only saw Meetup photos, and somehow I always imagined that he's 190 cm tall or about.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sat Dec 3rd, 2011 at 09:29:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
He is, when he's not faking otherwise.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Dec 3rd, 2011 at 09:45:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
crankykarsten was present. But I'll let him uncover himself if he cares to....

And certainly more than a few readers.

Wind power

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sat Dec 3rd, 2011 at 09:52:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Congratulations on your successful event!

The venue looked interesting, the people looked happy, the food looked delicious, and the giraffes looked adorable.

by sgr2 on Sat Dec 3rd, 2011 at 12:36:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Indeed, it was a very cool party. I must reiterate that the most amazing part was not that so many people came but that, as you note, everyone there was just happy to be there which was basis for a relaxing networking environment...

PS my son loves the green giraffe!

by crankykarsten (cranky (where?) gmx dot organisation) on Mon Dec 5th, 2011 at 04:25:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Adding, crankykarsten is not cranky in the slightest, rather a joy to meet in the flesh.

Giraffe test


"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin

by Crazy Horse on Mon Dec 5th, 2011 at 12:57:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
thanks CH! And meeting you was a very big honor! :-))
by crankykarsten (cranky (where?) gmx dot organisation) on Tue Dec 6th, 2011 at 05:56:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Floating Offshore is really interesting: it opens the possibility to install wind farms in places that lack continental plateaus, like the Mediterranean...
by Bernard on Sat Dec 3rd, 2011 at 07:04:29 AM EST
And most of Lakes Michigan (avg 85m, max 280m) and Superior (avg 147m, max 406m).

Lake Erie is more in the North Sea class (avg 19m, max 65m).

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Sat Dec 3rd, 2011 at 09:51:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
First thing I read this morning. I can feel it is going to be a good day. Great hommage to a prescient man.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill
by r------ on Sun Dec 4th, 2011 at 03:20:41 AM EST
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/2ffd1d02-0ee0-11e1-b83c-00144feabdc0.html#ixzz1fZHnCoq2

The price of solar falls by a fifth every time capacity doubles, the association adds. As capacity is ramped up in sunnier parts of the world, costs will continue to fall and government support regimes should be a thing of the past.

However, given International Energy Association estimates that fossil fuel subsidies currently total more than $400bn, six times the amount of support for clean energy, this may be wishful thinking.


by rootless2 on Sun Dec 4th, 2011 at 07:26:37 AM EST
(Google search link).
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Dec 4th, 2011 at 08:34:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The crisis/meltdown has hit the EU energy budget. Apparently EWEA is not pleased with this amount of funding.

EU R&D Funds Puts 2020 Targets in Question


Under the proposal, all non-nuclear energy gets only 7.5% of the research budget - 6.5bn Euros out of 87.7bn Euros. Nuclear alone gets 1.8bn Euros for just five years under Euratom - as well as additional funds for ITER (and even a slice of the SET Plan).
....
The European wind industry was counting on 1.3bn Euros of EU research funding for wind, but today's announcement makes that impossible. Even the full 6.5bn Euros for non-nuclear energy (of which the SET Plan is only a part) is not enough to cover all SET Plan needs.

Clever of them to announce after conference participants disbanded.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin

by Crazy Horse on Mon Dec 5th, 2011 at 03:32:00 AM EST
Looks like the EWEA needs to fire their lobbyist(s.)

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Mon Dec 5th, 2011 at 12:55:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Other industries might have far more weight, overwhelming even the skilled EWEA folk. Remember, rational argument doesn't count anymore.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin
by Crazy Horse on Mon Dec 5th, 2011 at 12:59:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"When has rational argument ever counted?" He asked, cynically.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Mon Dec 5th, 2011 at 01:06:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The major announcements regarding new turbines came from Siemens, GE, Nordex, Areva and Alstom, but there was another interesting development.

Mitsubishi to Present Wind Turbine with Hydraulic Drive Train


In place of a conventional gear drive mechanism, MHI's state-of-the-art configuration features the world's first hydraulic drive train exclusively for use in large-size offshore wind turbines.
EWEA OFFSHORE 2011, organized by the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA), is Europe's largest exhibition of offshore wind turbines. MHI ... in the 7-megawatt (MW) class. The system, marking the first time MHI is announcing and showing the overview of an offshore system under development, is noteworthy for its adoption of a hydraulic transmission in the drive train. The rotor diameter exceeds 165 meters.
In November 2010 MHI and MPSE acquired Artemis Intelligent Power, Ltd., a UK venture company that possesses outstanding technology in hydraulic transmission systems. Applying this technology, MHI is now undertaking the development of a hydraulic drive train specifically for use in offshore wind turbines, targeting a new type of power generating system, including new blades. Plans call for domestic verification of the new system using existing wind turbine within 2012, operational testing in Europe in 2013, and commercial mass production to commence in 2015.

This development, which i missed at the event, is significant because it shows that technical development remains fluid and the industry is not mature (which many tend to forget.)

It also shows that new engineering ideas, even from countries behind the curve, can be innovative enough to attract industrial investment. And that Mitsubishi, with over 2 decades of turbine manufacturing experience, is willing to invest in a new direction.

Strangely, there was no announcement that the technology already exists, and is used commercially in the Voith WinDrive, first used by DeWind. Here, the third stage of a standard gearbox was replaced by a fluid torque converter.

Voith has been in the power business for a while, having built the turbines at Niagara Falls over a hundred years ago. I've climbed a
DeWind turbine, and seen some of the operational data, and realize this is just another path which, properly engineered, can acheive the desired results.

Interesting that Korean owned DeWind and Japanese Mitsubishi have taken this path.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin

by Crazy Horse on Mon Dec 5th, 2011 at 03:53:18 AM EST
Of course, technical development by its nature is not always successful.

Sway floating test model sinks off Norwegian coast


Sway said the test turbine, which was launched early this year, was only designed for a maximum wave height of 4 metres. Data collected by NREL showed wave heights of 6.3 metres.

According to the company, a full-size version of the model would be able to withstand wave heights below 26 metres. It was installed in March. Sway Turbine, a sister company of Sway, is developing a 10MW turbine that could use the floating platform.

Development of floating turbine technology for the global industry is quite important, because no where else in the world do we find a giant underwater pool table like the North Sea. In many places around the world, one can't find thousands km2 of <45m depth. If you want your turbines invisible to coastal tourism, you've got to deal with the drop-off of continental shelves.

Naturally, such advanced design efforts tend to be focused in lands where the existing commercial industry is not as active. Very serious efforts are being made in Norway, Portugal, and significantly in the US.

Don't give up the ship, Sway.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin

by Crazy Horse on Mon Dec 5th, 2011 at 07:05:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A small but telling Postcript:

There's a tradition in the wind industry that turbine demonstrations aimed specifically at securing the next stage of investment often fail.

Original case in point: the first test for investors of the initial commercial machine in amurka. The chief designer told the CEO and Board that the turbine wasn't ready. He was overruled, of course. The investors came and the turbine started up.

No cars were hit and there were no injuries as a blade sailed over the highway outside of Boston.

The investment deal was of course oversubscribed.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin

by Crazy Horse on Mon Dec 5th, 2011 at 07:11:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sway said the test turbine, which was launched early this year, was only designed for a maximum wave height of 4 metres. Data collected by NREL showed wave heights of 6.3 metres.
According to the company, a full-size version of the model would be able to withstand wave heights below 26 metres.
That storm was the strongest I've experienced in 7 years in Norway, blowing down trees and utility poles on my sheltered inland road.
by Andhakari on Tue Dec 6th, 2011 at 06:10:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Failure is integral to the process of developing new technology.  
 

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Mon Dec 5th, 2011 at 12:49:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Isn't a hydraulic drive train more maintenance-intensive?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Dec 5th, 2011 at 01:57:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Depends on how it is implemented, and in comparison to what. Also, with a constant speed output shaft, you can have a normal synchronous generator, which utilities are much more comfortable with.

But it all depends on how well each particular drive train design is done. For example, Siemens is convinced there is no better alternative to DD. Vestas says the opposite. Other top designs are convinced the middle ground (hybrid) is the best path. I believe no one knows until years of data are compared. (Aber was weiss ich, ich bin nur CH.)

Fluid stages depend on the reaction time of the vanes. If they can be proven to reliably operate over a normal lifetime, with quick enough reaction time, then they provide real advantage. But that is not an easy hurdle to overcome, though its use in conventional oil and gas technology has been very successful, and considered maintenance free.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin

by Crazy Horse on Mon Dec 5th, 2011 at 04:46:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Found on a wall at Voith during a due diligence visit:

a high reliability joke (believe that's the world bank tipping the scale)

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin

by Crazy Horse on Tue Dec 6th, 2011 at 02:06:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Institutional Investors Give Europe Wind Projects a Needed Lift

LONDON--Europe's ambitious plans for offshore wind projects have some important new backers: pension funds and other institutional investors.

Pity that the article is so clueless


Before the global financial crisis of 2008, utilities and banks typically supplied the financing for offshore wind farms. But since then utilities have grown more cautious about funding projects and bank capital has been in short supply. The European Investment Bank, the EU's lending arm, has picked up some of the slack, along with member nations' export-credit agencies, but it isn't enough to keep development on target. Institutional investors are stepping up to help fill the gap.

Hmmm, before 2008, there were only a few hundred MWs in the water - now we're building a GW or more per year and funding has not been in short supply - it's been increasing at a record rate across all categories - from utilities, bank financing and the rest.


Also, because wind power in Europe is heavily subsidized, the economics of these projects can change overnight if governments trim those subsidies, as Spain has done in recent years.

Wind power ,again, is NOT heavily subsidized, and changes in solar tariffs are not a serious argument to make about the supposedly unstable framework for wind, a much more mature technology...

Wind power

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Dec 5th, 2011 at 04:15:13 PM EST
As Alistair Campbell used to say "whether or not there was a scandal doesn't matter, it's the impression of scandal that matters"

Same here. The truth doesn't matter, it's the impression that becomes self-confirming eventually. The carbon corporates want renewables dead and will do anything and everything to make that come true.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Dec 5th, 2011 at 04:34:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
For those who can read German or like to see offshore photos, WAB Newsletter Here. You can read about the delegation from Fukushima who visited Bremerhaven to learn what they must do to build an industry there.

To read and download the highly informative Offshore 2011/2012 version in english, Go Here.
It's got loads of maps, photos and info on the entire German scene.

In other news, NRG has halted its Bluewater Wind offshore projects in the US.   Find It Here.  You'll also find there that Norway's Statoil has applied for a permit to place their floating Hywind turbine demo at the US test site off the coast of Maine.



"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin

by Crazy Horse on Wed Dec 14th, 2011 at 01:53:53 PM EST
and the UK gets another taste of what serious offshore wind activity brings to the table. In this case, a new Port and turbine assembly facility in Hull.

Check it out here.

The facility is not for manufacturing the turbines themselves, but Siemens has already stated its intention to build such a plant in the UK. As always, the drawing looks sweet.

(Blow it up on your screen, lots of "cute" detail, like 3 rotor star assembly cranes, and grass covered assembly halls.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin

by Crazy Horse on Thu Dec 15th, 2011 at 08:49:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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