Offshore floating vertical axis wind turbine

The VERTIWIND project aims to develop and implement an innovative concept of floating vertical axis wind turbines, which represent a technological breakthrough in the landscape of offshore wind farms, which are almost all designed on a traditional horizontal axis.

Projet en cours

Project leader NENUPHAR
Industrials partners Phase 1 : ALSTOM Hydro (Spain) - Converteam / Phase 2 : EDF EN, EDF RD, Converteam, Seal Engineering, Bureau Veritas
Research partners Phase 1 : ENSAM Lille, TU DELF (Pays Bas), Université du Pays Basque (Spain) / Phase 2 : ENSAM Lille, ISITV
Budget 21 K€
Cofinanceur publics Phase 1 (budget 3200K€) : EUROGIA+ / Phase 2 : ADEME as part of AMI EMR
Year of labeling 2009
Year of co-financing Phase 1 : 2010 / Phase 2 : 2011


Perfectly adapted to the marine environment, the concept has the following advantages:

  • Fitted with lower masts, these turbines have a lower centre of gravity which reduces the cost of the floating structure and the impact on the landscape
  • Robust and simple (neither gearbox nor steering system for the mast or the blades), these turbines are more reliable and therefore more suitable for the marine environment
  • Smaller sizes than conventional wind turbines will facilitate safer industrial deployment by avoiding the main problems in the offshore wind sector (e.g. maritime resources, organization of the construction phase)

This new floating concept eliminates the current limit of 35 metre depths for offshore wind farm foundations. Therefore, the location of the projects will not be constrained by the seabed (e.g. underwater shelves, raised seabed areas) but maintain a balance between use, environmental sensitivity and the stated objective of  competitive energy costs . The objective of the project is to build and test a 2MW floating offshore wind turbine between 2011 and 2012.

The aim is to expand the market for offshore wind farming, currently limited to countries with vast continental shelves and with depths less than 35 metres mainly located in the north of Europe.