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China's First Deep-Sea Floating Wind Turbine Heads Offshore

By KENNY DONG|Jun 15,2022

Chongqing - China’s first deep-sea floating wind turbine equipment, “Fuyao” developed by Chongqing’s China Haizhuang Windpower Equipment, has reached the Luodousha sea area in Xuwen county, Guangdong province, and started installation on May 31.

China Haizhuang Windpower Equipment Co., Ltd. is a subsidiary of China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC) based in Chongqing Liangjiang New Area. In December of the last year, the wind turbine floating platform of “Fuyao” came off the product line. On May 27, 2022, “Fuyao” completed assembly at the Port of Maoming.

“ Fuyao “ wind turbine is installed on the floating platform at the Port of Maoming. (Photo provided by China Haizhaung)

Scientists believe there are abundant wind power resources in the deep sea with low wind wave attenuation, attracting many countries to develop wind power equipment in recent years. Currently, fixed offshore wind turbines are the primary devices used in the deep sea. Still, they face a high cost when they reach the sea area beyond 60 meters deep, whereas floating wind turbines can save costs, marking them as the future of the offshore wind power field.

Released by CSSC, the floating platform has a length of 72 meters, a draught of 33 meters, and a width of 80 meters, with the tower standing 78 meters tall and the center height of the hub standing 96 meters, equipped with a 6.2 MW wind turbine, which makes it as the largest floating wind turbine equipment in China. “Fuyao” is the company’s first floating model and will be applied in the deep sea area 65 meters deep on average and get through long-term tests including power generation, continuous monitoring of loading and posture and malfunction, according to Dong Yehong, the leading expert of China Haizhuang Windpower Equipment.

“Fuyao” is towed to the Luodousha sea area by several tugboats. (Photo provided by China Haizhuang)

As the pioneer of floating wind turbine equipment, Norway installed the world’s first floating wind turbine Hywind Demo in 2009. Norway is building the world’s largest floating wind farm that will equip with 11 8.6 MW floating wind turbines. On June 7, the first one was installed around 140 kilometers off the Norwegian coast in a water depth of between 260 and 300 meters, according to the report released by Electrek.

“Norway leads the floating wind turbine development globally,” said Dong, “Hywind is the most widely used structure in all floating wind turbine equipment. However, that is not suitable in our country because of the limit in water depth. Generally, our sea area is shallower and plainer, and we have typhoons and complex ocean current conditions, which all make us decide that we have to develop our floating wind turbine.”

Instead of building a spar-type turbine-like Norway’s Hywind, Haizhuang used a semi-submersible platform as the base of the wind turbine that would be stabler and heavier. “Currently, producing such a floating wind turbine is costly. What we build is like a stable ship on which the wind turbine is fixed, not like simply sticking a stake in the ocean. And in the modeling stage with a relatively conservative design, we don’t reduce the overall weight.” said Dong.

He said that Haizhuang would continue developing 10-MW-level floating wind turbines in the next stage by absorbing the recent development experience and lowering the cost further. We expect to start small-scale industrialization in 2024.


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