Sandia National Laboratories will design a vertical-axis wind turbine (VAWT) system, ARCUS, with the goal of eliminating mass and associated cost not directly involved in capturing energy from the wind. A VAWT is ideal for floating offshore sites. Its advantages over horizontal-axis wind turbines (HAWTs) include no need of yaw systems, improved aerodynamic efficiency and a lower level placement of the turbine’s drivetrain that greatly reduces floating platform mass and associated system costs. The ARCUS design also replaces the turbine’s VAWT tower with lighter, tensioned guy wires. The result is up to a 50% lower rotor mass than traditional VAWTs. This greatly minimizes platform and system costs. Instead of designing the platform to eliminate the motion of the turbine, the project team will design the oscillating turbine-platform system to operate safely under extreme weather conditions within an allowable response. The ARCUS turbine will ensure the technical leadership of U.S. commercial and research institutions.
ATLANTIS projects will aim to develop new and potentially disruptive innovations in FOWT technology to enable a greater market share of offshore wind energy, ultimately strengthening and diversifying the array of domestic energy sources available to Americans.