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Sea trials A $3.97 million cooperative research agreement with DOE will build on the VolturnUS design

Photo courtesy of Dave Cleaveland VolturnUS deployed off the coast near Castine.

The University of Maine’s one-eighth scale floating wind turbine has been successfully operating and collecting data related to design capabilities for more than a year, including throughout a Maine winter. VolturnUS, the 6 MW wind turbine featuring floating concrete hull technology, is equipped with more than 50 sensors. Among the yearlong data highlights: VolturnUS successfully withstood 18 severe storms equivalent to 50-year storms, and one 500-year storm, and the maximum tower inclination angle measured was less than 7 degrees.

Earlier this year, UMaine signed a $3.97 million cooperative research agreement with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), of which $3 million is DOE funding and $970,000 is cost share, to continue the design and engineering work of the full-scale VolturnUS floating hull.

The full-scale version of the VolturnUS floating hull is a patent-pending technology developed by the University of Maine Advanced Structures and Composites Center. In June 2013, it became the first grid-connected offshore wind turbine deployed in the Americas, and the first floating turbine in the world to be designed using a concrete hull and a composites material tower.

VolturnUS paves the way for a larger 6 MW floating turbine. The project brought together more than 30 organizations as part of the DeepCwind Consortium, led by UMaine and funded through a competitive DOE grant and industry contributions.

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Fall 2014

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