A new technology for wind energy converters will provide larger and lighter units and far more cost-efficient wind energy production…
Norsetek is a young Norwegian company with extensive maritime and offshore design experience. It has approached the wind industry with its Norsetek Light Rotor design – a new and game-changing technology platform for large wind turbines.
The Norsetek Light Rotor
The conventional rotor system consists of a steel hub with blade bearings and three cantilevered rotor blades. This solution was developed when blades were about eight metres long. But with the up-scaling of blade lengths to more than 80 metres, Norsetek thinks it is about time to adjust the structural layout. The Norsetek Light Rotor efficiently resolves important challenges for the wind industry.
The rotor blades and hub is typically 35 per cent lighter, the cost is estimated 20-30 per cent lower when compared with conventional solutions.
Because of the small blade tip deflections, a stiffer and lighter tower and foundation with an estimated 30 per cent cost reduction may also be installed.
The blades are much easier to fabricate and transport both on land and at sea as they are divided near the middle.
Rotor, tower and foundation represent 50 per cent of the cost related to wind park installations. As a result of lower fabrication cost and increased transportability globally and on narrow roads, significantly larger and much more cost-efficient wind energy convertors (WECs) will be available onshore as well as offshore. This Light Rotor design is in line with other large structures like construction cranes, bridges and ship masts. Material carrying tension and compression forces are separated by air in order to have a light and efficient structure for carriage of large forces. The increase of complexity is far outweighed by a lower consumption of material and work.
Spreaders and stays with aerodynamic shape remove large bending and fatigue stresses from the inner part of the blades and the hub. However, the aerodynamic properties as well as the ability to regulate the blades by pitching are retained.
The structural arrangement opens for a four-bladed configuration with slimmer blades and reduced “tip-loss” and increased power efficiency. A smoothening of the rotor loadings including the rotor torque is then expected. Three bladed rotors is a relevant option.
The Light Rotor has been reviewed, extensively analysed and acknowledged by GL Garrad Hassan, a reputable wind energy consultancy. Patents have so far been awarded in Norway, South Africa and China and application processes are well underway in all major markets. Norsetek is interested to license the technology to WEC makers and is discussing with large companies about the remaining joint technology development.
In addition to licensees, Norsetek is open to discussion with potential investors as well as other industrial players.
For more information please visit: Norsetek