Presentations - WindEurope Annual Event 2024

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From prototype to industrialized solution: the PivotBuoy experience

Alex Raventos, CEO & Co-founder, X1 Wind


X1 Wind developed, together with eight other partners from five different countries, the PivotBuoy Project, a research and innovation action awarded under the Horizon 2020 program. The floating platform built, deployed and tested under this project was the first fully functional TLP to be installed in the floating offshore wind industry worldwide, and the first floating unit in Spain to export electricity via a subsea cable. The project demonstrated and validated the system, providing insights that will help the floating industry lower its costs and accelerate the industrialization efforts. The PivotBuoy System combines the advantages of a single point mooring system (SPM) with a small Tension-Leg Platform (TLP), which coupled with a downwind turbine configuration, enables a complete redesign of the floating structure, and simplifies the installation process. The PivotBuoy system allows the floating structure to passively weathervane and self-align with the wind, without needing an active yaw system. The part scale unit was tested in real operation conditions in the Canary Islands, between October 2022 and May 2023, and the results obtained were extremely positive. In particular, results on passive alignment, survivability under extreme events, dynamic behaviour and power production were excellent and well-aligned with the simulation models developed during the engineering and design stages. These results are already being used by X1 Wind to optimize the design of the pre-commercial and commercial units. In addition to the structural, mechanical, and electrical design of the platform, the engineering of the large-scale units includes specific industrialization plans, namely aspects such as modularity of the components, suitability for mass manufacturing, supply chain optimization, improvement of connections and industrialized assembly lines at port, among others.

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