SeaTwirl, a Swedish company developing vertical-axis floating wind turbines, has said that it has been granted a patent by the Japanese Patent Office for its divisible wind turbine.
According to the company, the patent protects a solution where the wind turbine is divisible above and below the house that holds the generator and bearing, which means that the entire generator and bearing housing can be replaced just above the water surface.
“It reduces costs for both installation and maintenance and minimizes downtime,” the company said.
“SeaTwirl is working strategically to build a broad patent portfolio. By protecting technical solutions that make the wind turbines cheaper to build and maintain, the company strengthens its market position. The corresponding patent was approved in Sweden in 2017, in the US and China in 2019, and Europe in 2020. The notice from the Japanese Patent Office is dependent on SeaTwirl paying the required fees,” the company said.
“Japan has great water depths and large cities along the coasts, which is an interesting market for our floating wind turbine, especially when Japan has set a goal of becoming CO2 neutral by 2050. To protect our ideas and technologies in the future, we put a lot of focus on our patent strategy. Our strong patent portfolio is one of our biggest assets”, says CEO Peter Laurits.
SeaTwirl saw its first vertical-axis floating wind turbine prototype installed at sea in 2015. Now the company is working on a prototype called SeaTwirl S2 – a 1 MW floating wind turbine – which is planned for launch at a test site in Norway in 2022.
The company’s goal is to sell its first commercial unit to a leading energy company and then establish a floating offshore wind farm in 2025.