The world's largest vertical axis turbine is set to enter its first trial stage next month as part of the 2MW Vertiwind floating offshore turbine project.
The project is being led by Lille-based designer Nenuphar, Technip and EDF EN. A 35kW prototype was launched in January 2012.
Nenuphar founder Charles Smadja said the company was planning to test the turbine in three stages. The first one, in January, would be on the generator and electrical systems that will be housed in the tower.
The turbine has been designed with two generators, allowing Nenuphar to test them without the installation of blades by using one generator to power the other.
The first level of blades will be installed in March, giving the turbine a capacity of 600kW. The final stage is set for testing in May.
The project has received confirmation of a permit for testing off of Marseilles, in southern France, and funding under the EU's NER300 programme for renewables technology.
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