Aiming to cut costs of offshore wind power, British engineers are developing a vertical-axis turbine that would eliminate the need for a tower, reduce stress on blades and foundations and ease installation work. The developer of the 10-MW device hopes to have a 1-MW proof-of-concept machine at work within two years. A full-scale demonstration would follow. Photo Courtesy Wind Power Ltd./Grimshaw In the vertical-axis concept, blades spin close to the ocean surface, like a fan on its back. The device has two rotors attached to inclined arms. These arms rise from a vertical axle in a module sitting just above
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.