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Published March 7, 2012

Statoil’s Hywind pilot installation off the southwest coast of Norway  is the first full-scale floating turbine in the world. But it was born indoors.

The model tests of Hywind were performed at a scale of 1:47 at MARINTEK. Photo: MARINTEK/Statoil

Four years before Hywind was deployed ten kilometres off the Norwegian coast, Statoil tested a scale model of the design. The test site was the world’s largest ocean laboratory at the SINTEF company MARINTEK.

The basin tests were the very first tests to be carried out on the offshore wind turbine, and were aimed at checking its responses to the tough conditions that it would encounter at sea.


Uniting wind-power and offshore technology

Hywind combines technologies from the windpower and offshore petroleum industries.

The pilot wind-turbinbe installation is being trialled in the North Sea for a period of two years.


Next stage: commercialisation

Hywind has been designed for use in water depths of 100 to 700 metres. The full-scale structure is 65 m high, and the turbine generates 2.3 MW, i.e. the total amount of current used by 2300 panel heaters running at 1000 W.

The purpose of the tests in the North Sea is to measure how wind and waves affect the structure. When this has been done, commercialisation can begin.