Technology developer X1 Wind has successfully laid its dynamic cable and is now ready for final installation of its fully functional floating wind prototype at the PLOCAN Test Site, in the Canary Islands.
Having installed the modular concrete gravity anchoring system last spring, the Barcelona-headquartered firm is now announcing another significant milestone in its first ocean deployment project after completing the dynamic cable lay.
X1 Wind’s Electrical Engineering Manager Adrian Oliva said this is another breakthrough for X1 Wind: “The 20kV dynamic cable will allow us to fully validate the floater and wind turbine performance, feeding the electricity to PLOCAN’s smartgrid, as well as transmitting data through its fiber optic connection. Also, we will be able to validate the cable’s dynamic behaviour. Understanding how our TLP mooring system reduces motions and loads on the cable, compared to catenary systems, is crucial as it will reduce fatigue and potentially extend the lifetime of this critical component.
“Our X30 platform is fully equipped with all the electrical systems that our commercial platforms will incorporate. The Vestas V29 turbine, originally designed for fixed foundations, has been retrofitted using a full-converter supplied by ABB and the control has been optimized to floating conditions. The voltage is increased to 20kV with a transformer, to allow the connection to PLOCAN’s smartgrid with the 1.4km-long dynamic cable. The dynamic cable will be connected to our platform using an innovative connector supplied by Ditrel. All components have successfully been tested at port, and the prototype is now ready to be installed in the next suitable weather window. Once installed, we will be monitoring the platform in real-time with multiple sensors integrated in our in-house SCADA system.”
With the trade-winds now blowing strong in the Canary Islands until mid-September, X1 Wind’s team will wait for a suitable weather window to complete the towing and hook-up of the prototype.
X1 Wind’s technology offers a unique approach to floating wind, fitted with a turbine in a downwind configuration, enabling the structure to ‘weathervane’ and orientate passively to maximise energy yields. It drives greater structural efficiency with a light and flexible design, which further supports future mass production at lower cost. The platform uses a Tension Leg Platform (TLP) mooring system which reduces the platform and cable dynamic motions, minimizes the footprint on the seabed, as well as allows its installation in deep waters.
A strong collaboration with international and local supply chain partners including Noatum Logistics, Hengtong, Trames, Ditrel Industrial, Electrimega, Partnerplast and Gateway, has been instrumental for the successful installation of the dynamic cable.
Noatum Global Sales & Business Development Manager Juan Agustín Pérez Gil de Zúñiga said: “Noatum Project Cargo is a very proud partner, involved in T&I operations such as GBS installation, transportation of the prototype and soon, towage towards the installation area. We are honoured to be a part of the first steps of a game changer industry with floating offshore wind, and particularly in setting a milestone with the launching of X1 Wind’s X30 model.”
Hengtong central Europe region sales director Rui Batista said: “With the launch and implementation of X1 Wind X30 model, connected with our special dynamic cable, we finished another project for developing clean and sustainable energy. We are very pleased and proud to have participated in the realization of such a visionary project. Congratulations to the whole team and best wishes for success. We look forward to participating in more new energy projects with X1 Wind.”
Ditrel Industrial Technical Director Ibon Larrea said: “We are very proud of our contribution to the project and the technical milestones achieved, through close collaboration between a team of different suppliers, successfully captained by X1 Wind.”
Electrimega Technical Director César Pena said: “This project has given our employees the opportunity to learn and train themselves in this scope of action, and provides reassurance that our islands can transition to a more sustainable and independent energy system. We don’t doubt the fact that the future is already the present, and we feel really proud of being able to collaborate with X1 Wind in the improvement of our environment.”
Gateway Data and Fiber Technician Cecilia Sánchez said: “Gateway is proud to have collaborated with the great team that makes up X1 Wind, participating in the installation of the subsea cable for this innovative offshore wind project, supporting everything that helps to increase the environmental sustainability of the islands.”
Supported by €4million from the European Commission H2020 Program, with a consortium coordinated by X1 Wind including leading companies EDP NEW, DNV, INTECSEA, ESM and DEGIMA and world-class research centres WavEC, DTU and PLOCAN, PivotBuoy aims to substantially reduce the current Levelized Cost Of Electricity (LCOE) of floating wind. Key advantages of the PivotBuoy system include a reduced floater weight, faster and cheaper installation processes and the ability to reach deeper waters with minimal seabed footprint thanks to the TLP mooring system.