German engineering company Gicon has successfully completed tank testing of a model of its floating wind turbine foundation prototype.

The 1:50 model, which included a turbine, was lifted by a crane into the water at ECN Laboratories in Nantes.

“Just to see the model floating was a success. Everything was watertight, the cable tensions on the buoyancy elements provided exactly the stability we calculated," said Frank Adam, scientific director of the offshore wind research group LWET at the University of Rostock.

Waves with heights of between 11.4 metres and 12.9 metres were simulated during the tests. 

The tests “demonstrated that the door is open for a floating tension leg platform with turbines from 6MW upwards, which enables a levelized cost of electricity of less than €50/MWh”, Gicon said.

LWET and partner ESG will test third generation structures in mid-2018 and “the first large-scale platform is planned for the near future,” it added.

In 2016, Gicon SOF postponed plans to install a 2.3MW Siemens turbine on a floating wind turbine foundation prototype as part of the Baltic 1 wind farm in the German Baltic Sea.

Image: tank tests (Daniel Walia Rstock University)