As their name suggests, floating installations are not erected on fixed foundations but built on floating platforms. Heavy-duty chains anchored to the seabed help keep the turbines in place in wind and weather. This makes the construction of floating wind turbines largely independent of sea depth. The turbines can also be positioned far from coastal areas to take advantage of previously undeveloped areas. "Wind strengths on the high seas are bigger than in coastal areas. For energy production floating wind turbines can generate more energy," says Peter Küpper, Vice President Sales & Marketing Teams of thyssenkrupp rothe erde at the Dortmund site. In addition, the construction of floating wind turbines is less invasive for the environment and for marine animals, as the installation generates less noise than the construction of permanently anchored foundations.
But where the wind blows stronger at sea, the turbines must withstand very different conditions. "Far out at sea, the climatic conditions are naturally harsher," the expert explains. The wind turbines and their components, such as blade and rotor bearings from thyssenkrupp rothe erde, must therefore be specially developed for these harsh conditions," says Peter Küpper.
For the increased load, the long-established company with more than 160 years of experience in the production of slewing bearings provides its customers with special underwater mooring bearings with an innovative sealing concept. Each delivery is unique: "The loads and operating conditions to be taken into account are agreed in specifications together with our customers. Based on this, the best possible bearing solutions are developed individually for the respective system," explains Küpper.
The highest quality materials and products are a matter of course for the thyssenkrupp rothe erde team. To ensure that their components can withstand the harsh climatic conditions and massive forces to which they are exposed on the high seas, the experts carry out tests under real conditions. The largest research and development center for slewing bearings in the world is located at the Lippstadt site. There, the giant bearings are put through their paces.
Floating turbines are becoming especially important for markets like Japan. The steep coastline there makes it much easier to build floating turbines than anchored ones. Floating turbines can thus open up new areas for energy generation. This offers enormous potential for wind energy worldwide.
To drive this development forward, thyssenkrupp rothe erde is also supporting projects such as the 1:10 pilot project Nezzy², which was designed and built by aerodyn engineering Gmbh with partner EnBW. A milestone: After all, this is the first floating offshore turbine in Germany with two turbines on one platform.
As demand for renewable energies increases worldwide, the experts at thyssenkrupp rothe erde also continuously develop their products. "We see a trend - particularly in offshore wind turbines - toward ever larger turbines with ever higher power classes," explains Küpper. "This will also continue to require a great deal of technical know-how from component manufacturers."
As one of the few suppliers of slewing bearings, thyssenkrupp rothe erde's colleagues can offer their customers a comprehensive product portfolio: from production to delivery, from installation to maintenance services. "On the one hand, we offer local proximity, but on the other hand we also have a global production and sales network," says Küpper.
The expert is certain: thyssenkrupp rothe erde has the technical expertise and necessary experience to drive sustainable energy production. " "We have been a partner to our customers since the very beginning. This means we can look back on long-standing relationships characterized by mutual respect and trust," says Peter Küpper.