Scientific advances and innovation

  • Development of a Velocity and Power Prediction Program (VPPP) for drifting wind turbines.
  • Optimization of anti-drift plane and propeller characteristics
  • Evaluation of load factors

Expected technical and economic impact

Since 2016, the LHEEA research departement of Centrale Nantes – CNRS has been investigating the feasibility of far-offshore wind energy conversion. Indeed, the yet-unexploited far-offshore wind energy resource represents a tremendous potential of renewable energy.

To harvest this potential, a concept is the sailing wind turbine, which is neither grid-connected nor moored. This concept is promising because it removes the need for grid-connection, moorings and related marine operations, which corresponds to approximately half of the capital expenditures for floating offshore wind turbines. Morevoer, sailing wind turbines are mobile, thus their energy production can be optimized using weather-routing.

The EOLNAV project aims at investigating the potential of this concept using numerical modelling.

Key project milestones

  • March 5, 2019 - Start of the project
  • December 31, 2019 - End of the project


Using a sailing wind turbine numerical model that has been developed in the project, velocity and net power production polar plots have been obtained for a realistic design of a sailing wind turbine. These polar plots show that it is possible to achieve positive net power production for realistic environmental conditions. It shows that the sailing wind turbine is worth further investigations.



Figure 1. On the left, sketch of 2 MW sailing wind turbine installed on a 40 m square barge fitted with a 150 m² keel and two 6 m diameter propellers. On the right, polar plot of the net energy production of this sailing wind turbine.

Publications and papers published

Publications :