After two years of development, Marseille-based Ideol has unveiled its new floating platform. It comprises a shallow concrete floater with a central well capable of supporting any commercial horizontal-axis turbine, without major modifications being required.
The floater's patented 'Damping Pool' technology acts to reduce swell, giving "exceptional hydrodynamic and motion performance," Ideol says.
It has also developed an innovative concept, whereby each platform can move along its anchor chains, allowing the wind farm layout to vary according to the wind direction. This turbine "mobility solution" means wake losses can be cut by up to 70%, Ideol estimates.
The company claims the use of concrete halves construction costs compared to steel and other floater concepts, prolongs longevity and reduces maintenance costs. It also allows easy scalability and flexibility at construction sites. The platform is competitive with fixed foundations beyond 35m, Ideol asserts, making it suitable for the emerging deep-water market, as well as projects currently under development.
Having validated the concept in test tanks, Ideol has secured funding and partners to proceed to the industrial phase. It aims to install two offshore demonstration platforms in 2014, before proceeding to commercial production.