TouchWind and Coastruction have entered into a collaborative pilot project and have received a €75.000 grant out of the “Energie & Klimaat” program from Innovation Quarter.
The start-up TouchWind (www.touchwind.org) together with its partners (VDL, Marin, NIDEC, TU Delft, We4Ce, Enersea, EJ Projects, MOL and RVO), is developing a new floating wind turbine and will test its latest prototype, with a rotor diameter of 6m at Fieldlab Green Economy Westvoorne (www.fieldlabwestvoorne.nl).
During the demonstration, TouchWind wants to test the installation, mooring & anchoring, as well as the ecological impact of their floating wind turbines on the unique location at the Oostvoornse lake.
The turbine will be anchored with ecological hybrid anchors made by start-up Coastruction (www.coastruction.com), an expert in the field of 3D powder bed printing with natural materials, ecological designs and inclusive design processes.
During the pilot the consortium hopes to answer the following questions:
- How does the turbine behave in outdoor conditions at the lake?
- What is the influence of the prototype on the (underwater) ecology and avifauna?
- What are the opportunities to stimulate the soil ecology on and around the anchors?
To produce the ecological hybrid anchors, Coastruction’s 3D print technology is using
location specific materials such as sand and shells from the Oostvoornse lake. The primary function of the anchors is to keep the floating turbine in position, the secondary function is to provide habitat for important species defined by the “Kader Richtlijn Water” and “Deltaplan Biodiversity”, or other local target species. In the Oostvoornse lake, the anchors will provide shelter for young fish or shellfish and the hard substrate, a local scarcity in the Oostvoornse lake, allows for attachment of e.g. mussels. The increase in ecological activity will certainly draw the attention of recreational divers.
The design process for the ecological hybrid anchors will be carried out in a social inclusive manner. The intention is to design with students from the university of applied sciences in Rotterdam or Zeeland e.g. and stakeholders of the Oostvoornse lake during a design workshop. Parties like Waterschap Hollandsche Delta, the municipality of Westvoorne, and the Nederlandse Onderwatersport Bond have all indicated their willingness to cooperate. The workshop will be led by Coastruction and TouchWind. Waterschap Hollandse Delta, as permitting authority, is expected to have an important role as well.
The demonstration of TouchWind’s floating prototype at Fieldlab Green Economy Westvoorne will result in important learnings for both start-ups, including the ecological colonisation of the anchors. This can be used in a future demonstration project, where multiple 6m prototypes are demonstrated in a mini-wind farm.
With its partners, TouchWind is determined to bring the 6m experiment to a success and the collaboration with Coastruction and Fieldlab fits perfectly in its ambition of responsible development. The usage of ecological anchoring in this pilot project is another step towards a fully sustainable solution in the energy transition.