Entry Date:
February 20, 2005

Offshore Wind Energy

Principal Investigator Paul Sclavounos

Global warming, concerns about the adverse environmental effects of fossil fuels and the fact that these resources are not renewable has led to a growing interest towards the development of alternative energy sources and technologies that are environmentally friendly, renewable and cost effective. One of these sources is wind energy and a recent technological innovation used to harvest it is Offshore Wind Farms. Environmental restrictions are more lax in an offshore environment than on land, therefore large coastal and open sea areas are available for wind farm development. Wind speeds offshore are higher and subject to less variability than those onshore due to the smoothness of the sea surface and the lack of obstacles encountered on land. Challenges encountered offshore include large and variable water depths, severe weather conditions and increased costs of electricity transmission and wind farm maintenance. This research at the LSPF aims to develop flexible floating offshore turbine technologies for operation over a broad range of water depths and deployment in large scale Offshore Wind Farms optimized for the cost-effective generation of electricity.