According to Niko Asia, the Japanese energy business Toda and a group of researchers from Osaka University will collaborate in the development of the world’s largest floating wind turbine. Electricity at up to 15 megawatts per hour is expected to be produced by a prototype turbine that is going to be constructed by engineers. The experiment is going to be carried out in a number of different steps. It is anticipated that the finale will start in the year 2025.
In the year 2023, the research team will begin work on a significant floating turbine project. The group focuses on developing offshore wind turbines and other offshore technologies, and it is comprised of ten engineers who were educated at the universities of Toda and Osaka. The creation of computer models to analyze the costs associated with operating a floating platform and the challenges that such a complex structure presents in terms of production volume and the transmission of electricity will be the primary focus of the work that will be done during this phase of the project.
In the year 2024, engineers will construct a demonstration plant consisting of floating turbines that will have a capacity of 10 megawatts (MW) of power. It is anticipated that by 2025, a turbine will have been constructed with blades that reach around 200 meters, which will be three times more effective than similar generating plants that are now in operation. Initial estimates suggest that this type of turbine is capable of producing somewhere between 12 and 15 MW of electricity.
The installation and maintenance costs of floating wind turbines are significantly higher when compared to those of fixed wind turbines that are built on the seabed. Even in Europe, where there has been a major increase in the use of offshore wind energy over the past few years, this feature hinders their large-scale deployment. Despite the fact that there are no areas of shallow water near Japan, the concept of floating wind turbines is growing more appealing. The land usage potential of floating turbines is said to be three times higher in terms of water compared to that of fixed offshore facilities, as stated by experts.
A commercial floating turbine is operated off the coast of Nagasaki Prefecture by a consortium of enterprises led by Toda. One kilogram of electricity generated by a facility with a capacity of 2 MW costs 36 of the plant’s total output of 2,000 yen. The price of producing energy has dropped to 10 yen per kilowatt-hour, which would put wind turbines on same footing with thermal power plants. As a result, it is essential to increase the capacity of offshore turbines.