A consortium of leading Japanese entities has clinched funding for a groundbreaking research project set to revolutionize the rapid large-scale deployment of floating offshore wind turbines. Spearheaded by the Japanese Government's New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), this initiative focuses on the crucial but understudied aspect of wake effect in floating wind turbines.
The wake effect in floating wind turbines has long been a challenge, largely uncharted in research. To unravel this enigma and address the technical hurdles facing large-scale floating offshore wind farms, an elite project team has assembled, featuring key players such as NSK, Kyushu University (Multiscale Offshore Wind Research Division), Toshiba Energy Systems Corporation, and Hitachi Zosen Corporation. Takanori Uchida of Kyushu University will lead this pioneering venture.
In the expansive landscapes of large-scale offshore wind farms, the wake effect gives rise to detrimental consequences, including heightened turbulence. It results in a decrease in electricity generation on the downwind side and an augmented load exerted on the turbines. To expedite the establishment of sizable offshore wind farms in Japan, understanding and precisely predicting the wake effect is deemed one of the paramount challenges.
Furthermore, the project aims to craft “innovative and optimal design methods” tailored to Japan's unique geographical context. Critical facets of the project will unfold within the cavernous wind tunnel facility at Kyushu University.
The researchers have set their sights on several key objectives, ranging from comprehending the wake effect distinctive to floating wind turbines and their mutual interference phenomena, to developing cutting-edge technology for their prediction and evaluation. Industry-academia collaboration is a fundamental component of the initiative, with an eye towards charting a future pathway for technology development.
In this comprehensive research undertaking, NSK, a prominent player in the consortium, is poised to enhance the reliability of bearings for wind turbines. By gaining an intimate understanding of the attributes of load changes induced by the wake effect, NSK seeks to bolster support for the broader adoption of wind power generation.
This endeavor marks a significant stride in Japan's quest for sustainable energy solutions and the expansion of its offshore wind capabilities, propelling the nation towards a greener and more environmentally conscious future.