X1 Wind platform reports testing success

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The PivotBuoy project, developed by X1 Wind in collaboration with nine industry and R&D leaders, finalized its offshore demonstration with results that promise to revolutionize the floating wind industry.

The Spanish firm’s X30 platform was tested in full operational conditions at PLOCAN from October 2022 to May 2023. During the seven-month demonstration, the device became the world’s first fully functional floating wind TLP (Tension Leg Platform). The unit fed its electricity to PLOCAN’s Platform via a 1.4-kilometer 20kV subsea cable.

X1 Wind reports successful PivotBuoy project results that boost new commercial interests. (Courtesy: X1 Wind)

“The PivotBuoy Project marked an important phase in the development of our innovative technology,” said X1 Wind CEO Alex Raventos. “It allowed us to retrieve large amounts of data for a sustained period of time in full operational conditions. These findings have provided crucial insights, which are now being incorporated into X1 Wind’s ongoing commercial-scale projects, including the NextFloat Project.”

The most striking result is that data showed very good alignment with the wind using its passive orientation system. The platform showed better alignment than publicly available data for traditional active yaw systems for strong winds (>7.5m/s) and similar alignment for lower wind speeds (<7.5m/s). In terms of power production, energy generated by the modified Vestas V29, which operates in a downwind configuration, was well aligned with theoretical models, with no sign of power loss or increased 3P vibration due to the tripod shadow. The results confirm that X1 Wind’s streamlined tripod arrangement eliminates the known drawbacks typically associated with downwind operation.

In addition, the platform overcame several harsh storms, with maximum wave heights reaching 6.7 meters, equivalent to more than 20 meters in full-scale. During these extreme events, the unit behaved well with motions and accelerations matching the predictions in simulation models.

“This is another milestone for the industry, especially taking into account that we use a TLP mooring (which provides many advantages but historically was very difficult to hook and un-hook),” Raventos said.

“By proving that our PivotBuoy mooring system can be easily hooked and unhooked, we’ve shown that TLPs can easily be installed, decommissioned, or maintained at port in case a tow-to-port maintenance operation is needed.” The PivotBuoy Consortium comprised of nine partners from five different countries (X1 Wind, EDP, DNV, INTECSEA, DTU, WavEC, PLOCAN, ESM, and DEGIMA).

The project aimed to demonstrate the innovative PivotBuoy mooring system configuration, which combines the advantages of a SPM (single point mooring) with a small TLP (Tension-Leg Platform) mooring system, allowing the platform to reach deeper waters and minimizing the footprint and impact on the seabed.

More info www.x1wind.com