ARCUS Vertical-Axis Wind Turbine

Default ARPA-E Project Image

Albuquerque, New Mexico
Project Term:
01/20/2020 - 01/31/2023

Technology Description:

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.

Potential Impact:

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.


Diverse, domestic energy resources can boost grid resiliency and reduce infrastructure vulnerabilities.


Increased availability of affordable, reliable wind energy could lessen reliance on fossil fuels, reducing power sector emissions.


Program developments in FOWTs could reduce the cost of wind energy production and provide an entirely new option for the offshore wind industry, as well as access to significant wind resources near major population centers on U.S. coastlines.


ARPA-E Program Director:
Dr. Mario Garcia-Sanz
Project Contact:
Brandon Ennis
Press and General Inquiries Email:
Project Contact Email:


FPS Engineering and Technology
Keppel FloaTec, LLC

Related Projects

Release Date: