Wind Energy – Floating Wind
X1 Wind’s floating platform has been successfully installed at the PLOCAN test site in the Canary Islands.
As summer trade-winds abated, a suitable weather window allowed X1 Wind and partners from the EU-backed PivotBuoy Project to complete the installation process, connecting the fully-functional floating wind prototype to the mooring system and dynamic cable pre-installed last June.
X1 Wind Operations Manager Jorge Casanovas said operations will soon commence collecting valuable data to validate performance in open ocean conditions for the first time.
“As installation work comes to a close another exciting chapter begins for X1 Wind as we prepare for operations to deliver first power to the PLOCAN smartgrid,” he said. “This is the result of a massive team effort, and we would like to extend our appreciation to all project partners and local suppliers who have supported so diligently throughout the build and installation process. We are especially thankful to those partners and suppliers that have played an instrumental role in the final installation phase, developing a ground-breaking mooring, connection and installation solution for our X30 prototype. Now successfully installed, we will begin monitoring the platform in real-time with multiple sensors integrated within our in-house SCADA system.”
The X30 platform has been developed with several key design features to streamline the installation process, including a light-weight and stable floater which can be easily wet towed by local vessels.
The PivotBuoy Project focuses on demonstrating an innovative mooring system configuration that combines the advantages of a SPM (single point mooring) with a small TLP (Tension-Leg Platform) mooring system, allowing the ability to reach deeper waters and minimizing the footprint and impact on the seabed.
Fitted with a Vestas V29 turbine, the 1:3 scale prototype has been stationed at a 50m water depth in a downwind configuration, creating a passive ‘weathervaning’ effect that eliminates the need of an active yaw system. The scalability of X1 Wind’s technology will enable the firm to provide platforms for the 15MW scale turbines and beyond and to deploy them at very deep sites.
After completing the installation, the PivotBuoy project will be tested in fully operational conditions until March 2023, feeding the electricity produced to PLOCAN’s smartgrid, after it has been commissioned.