VolturnUS 1:8 is a 65-foot-tall floating wind turbine prototype that is a 1:8 geometric scale version of a 6-megawatt (MW) turbine with approximately 450-foot rotor diameter. The patent-pending VolturnUS 1:8, was designed and built at the University of Maine, assembled at Cianbro's
facility in Brewer, Maine, successfully towed nearly 30 miles from Brewer by a Maine Maritime Academy tugboat, and anchored for testing off the coast of Castine, Maine in 90 ft of water. On June 13, 2013, the turbine was energized and began delivering electricity through an undersea cable to the Central Maine Power electricity grid, making VolturnUS 1:8 the first grid-connected offshore wind turbine in the Americas. The hull served as a floating laboratory, with nearly sixty sensors that measured the motions of the hull and the environment around it, which allowed the University of the Maine to verify its numerical models and validate its design assumptions. The platform was removed after 18 months of successful operations in late 2014.
Based on observations and measurements over the past year, the 1:8 VolturnUS exhibited motions in line with computer model predictions and provided confidence to move forward with design and construction of a full-scale floating turbine utilizing the VolturnUS platform technology. The team is contemplating deployment of 1-2 units in the 4-6 MW range each off Monhegan Island, called the Aqua Ventus I project. Funding to finish front-end engineering design and validate economics and manufacturing plans has been provided by the Department of Energy EERE. The ultimate goal of the UMaine consortium is a 500 megawatt wind farm farther out in the Gulf of Maine, about 2-1/2 miles south of the island, where the turbines would not be visible from shore.
For more information, visit UMaine VolturnUS 1:8