The next replacement for Floatgen, the pilot floating wind turbine installed off Le Croisic (Loire-Atlantique), has received its funding and, with it, its green light. A second prototype of the floating wind technology of the Brest-based start-up, Eolink, will take the place of the pioneer Floatgen, in 2024, on the multi-technology sea test site (SEM-REV) of the Ecole Centrale de Nantes, twenty kilometers from the coast.
Supported to the tune of 14.9 million euros by the Ecological Transition Agency (Ademe) as part of the France2030 plan, the Eolink demonstrator will have a capacity of 5 megawatts (MW), instead of 2 MW for the Floatgen wind turbine. Eolink technology is based on a pyramidal structure: the rotor and the blades are mounted on four masts, which rest on a semi-submerged float. The company Valorem will take care of the assembly of the pyramidal wind turbine on its float, manufactured by the Chantiers de l’Atlantique, then its maintenance. Centrale Nantes will take care of its installation. As a reminder, a first prototype, of 2MW, was already installed off Saint-Anne-du-Portzic (Finistre), in 2018.
The bet of Eolink technology is to reduce the cost of electricity, thanks in particular to the 30% reduction in the steel mass of the float. This reduction is made possible thanks to the four-mast pyramidal structure, which is 40% lighter than a single-mast wind turbine. Thanks to a greater distance between the blades and the masts, the Eolink architecture makes it possible to design more flexible blades, no longer risking colliding with the towerexplains the youngster from Brest. The mass saving thus achieved makes it possible to lengthen the base of the blades. The gain in producible is 6% by keeping the generator of the reference solution, up to 11% if the torque is increased.
In the long term, Eolink is betting on a price of electricity produced of around 35 euros per megawatt hour, for a pyramidal wind turbine of 15 to 20 MW, a drop of 20 to 25% compared to conventional floating wind turbines.
Article published on November 03, 2022