GM Ventures' believes its “wall of wind turbines” is going to lead the charge into next-generation floating wind turbine technology.
General Motors deploys its GM Ventures arm to kickstart next-generation clean tech that supports its stake in the global auto industry, and the latest venture is a new floating wind turbine system that looks like a giant wall of inter-connected propellers and functions as a vast clean energy sucking sponge, reports Clean Technica.
Whilst floating platforms are generally more expensive than fixed turbines, it's site selection that's the big allure, as vastly more offshore sites are available to floating turbines - which only require an anchor to attach to the seabed.
As with all green technologies, maturing supply chains lead to lower costs. Another cost-cutting ingredient is to co-locate more than one turbine on one platform, and that’s where Wind Catching Systems comes in.
“The technology is based on multi turbine technology and achieves its efficiency through maximizing energy production per floater, leading to more efficient acreage use and lower LCOE,” WCS explains.
WCS calculates that its fully outfitted system can provide an output equivalent to five 15-megawatt wind turbines. Considering that each of those 15-megawatt wind turbines would require a separate installation, you can see where the co-location idea is a potential money saver on construction costs.
Furthermore, the co-location strategy means that a floating wind turbine farm would take up far less space than a conventional wind farm. WCS estimates that its floating wind turbines will take up 80 percent less acreage than a typical wind farm.
So, in the coming years, we can expect to see lots more of these floating multi-turbines. Or maybe not, as they may be too far out to sea...