The firm’s X30 prototype is now fully assembled in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, ready for installation. Fitted with a specially adapted V29 Vestas turbine, the unique ‘downwind’ system is able to ‘weathervane’ and orientate passively with the wind to maximise energy yields. The novel tripod-like platform also features greater structural efficiency, with a lighter and more scalable design, while minimising environmental impact on the ocean. Demonstrating downwind design “We are thrilled to complete this latest milestone as we move towards deployment,” said X1 Wind CEO Alex Raventos. “The rotor assembly represents a symbolic moment in this project, fitting the blades which will ultimately harness the wind and demonstrate our downwind design. Strong summer trade winds in Gran Canaria brought minor delays after the initial load-out, but this exciting period brings the assembly process to fruition." "In the coming weeks, we will engage in cable and anchor installations before the platform is stationed at a 50m water depth for final commissioning. From the outset, X1 Wind has been committed to find a more efficient structural approach for floating wind compared to more traditional systems." "We believe we have now developed the technology to take full advantage of the marine environment while respecting the future sustainability of the ocean. Our system will drive greater structural efficiency, reducing loads, especially the bending moments at the base of the tower, allowing for a lighter design.” Reaching deep waters Upwind configurations require measures to prevent tower strikes, with the challenge increasing as turbine blades get longer X1 Wind’s platform utilises the best features of a semi-submersible – with a low draft – and the ability to reach deeper waters by a Tension Leg Platform (TLP) mooring system – with a small seabed footprint. Co-founder Carlos Casanovas said the industry-wide approach for land-based turbines has traditionally focused on upwind rotors to avoid the so-called ‘tower shadow’ effect. However, upwind configurations require specific measures to prevent tower strikes, with the challenge increasing as turbine blades get longer. Research on blades “With 100m plus blades becoming more prevalent in offshore environments, significant measures are needed to avoid tower strikes,” said Mr Casanovas. “This typically involves increasing the distance between the blades and tower applying a tilt and cone angle, and designing more costly pre-bent and stiffer blades, which also makes them heavier." "However, these measures come with increased manufacturing complexity, cost and potential loss of power generation. Using a downwind configuration reduces the risk of tower strikes, opening up the possibility of using lighter, more flexible and therefore cheaper large-scale wind turbine designs. These are key characteristics which will enable the development of future extreme-scale downwind structures with research already being conducted on 200m blades and 50MW power ratings.” X30 deployment X1 Wind’s X30 deployment is being delivered in conjunction with the ground-breaking PivotBuoy Project backed by a pan-European consortium including leading companies EDP NEW, DNV, INTECSEA, ESM, and DEGIMA and world-class research centres WavEC, DTU and PLOCAN. Supported by €4million from the European Commission H2020 Program, PivotBuoy aims to substantially reduce the current Levelised 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.
X1 Wind has secured a multi-million euro grant to launch its first commercial floating wind project. The floating wind technology developer has been allocated €2.5m through the European Innovation Council (EIC) Accelerator program. It was named among 38 of the most promising start-ups by the EIC after being shortlisted from 4200 applications to receive funding to ‘develop and scale up ground-breaking innovations’. X1 Wind CEO & Co-Founder Alex Raventos said the grant will provide resources to rapidly accelerate the detailed design and certification process of its first commercial large-scale floating wind units. PivotBuoy® technology The fully functional (X30) prototype is equipped with a Vestas V29 turbine The firm is currently preparing to deploy its ground-breaking PivotBuoy® technology at 1:3 scale in the Canary Islands after completing the assembly and load-out. The fully functional (X30) prototype is equipped with a Vestas V29 turbine and will be stationed at a 50m water depth at the PLOCAN test site with full exposure to open ocean conditions. First Large-Scale Floating Wind Unit “Following a rigorous application process, we are delighted to report our successful bid for EIC Accelerator funding,” said X1 Wind CEO & Co-Founder Alex Raventos. “This is the result of a tremendous team effort and represents a major vote of confidence in our technology which has matured significantly in recent years, now offering a truly unique and disruptive form on floating wind energy.” “The cash injection will be specifically used to fast-track the detailed design and certification of our first large-scale floating wind unit. We are currently in the process of evaluating potential pre-commercial sites and projects, to continue driving momentum following our current demonstration project in the Canary Islands.” Reduces The LCOE Of Floating Wind X1 Wind initially attracted the attention of the EIC due to its innovative takes on floating wind. The firm’s technology is designed to substantially reduce the current Levelised Cost of Electricity (LCOE) of floating wind through reduced floater weight, a faster and cheaper installation process, and a more reliable operation. The system is connected to a single point mooring system in a downwind configuration creating a ‘weathervaning’ solution that maximises the use of passive systems. EIC Accelerator Pilot The start-ups and SMEs selected for the EIC Accelerator Pilot come from 18 countries. All of which underwent a highly competitive evaluation by external experts. After whittling down thousands of entries the highest scoring 134 applications were invited to pitch online to an independent jury of experts, investors, and entrepreneurs. As well as the financial support, the benefactors also have access to coaching, networking, and business acceleration services to help build their businesses. The next-generation floating wind platform has a unique design that scales up efficiently with larger turbines Commercial-Scale Design “Our next-generation floating wind platform has a unique design that scales up efficiently with increasingly larger turbines. In addition, the platform’s modular design is highly suitable for mass manufacturing, advancing the industrialisation plans for serial fabrication of floating wind,” added Mr. Raventos. “This will enable us to meet the considerable demand and fuel ambitious targets set out for the global expansion of the industry. X1 Wind’s final commercial-scale design will draw on knowledge and expertise from experienced fabricators, shipyards, and ports to automate and streamline processes, which will ultimately help drive down costs.”