How Does It Work?

How Does Offshore Wind Turbine Technology Work?

Offshore wind technology operates in the same fashion as general wind turbines. As the wind passes by, the air flow causes the blades of the turbine rotate. The rotors are connected to a drive shaft which revolves an electrical generator producing electricity. This electrical energy is then transported through submarine cables from the ocean to a power grid onshore. Here, the generated power can be distributed to accommodate energy requirements.

Video provided by AREVA explaining how an offshore wind turbine operates.11


Fixed-Foundation (Embedded) Turbines

Suitable for shallow depths. Monopiles, or large steel tubes, are driven into the seabed and stabilized deep beneath the seafloor’s mud line. The monopile supports the tower and all components of the turbine.²

Floating Turbines

Many iterations of floating platforms currently under investigation, but there are two specific designs that are close to commercial availability and implementation.

  • Turbines attached to a special buoy featuring a steel cylinder with water and rocks to serve as a ballast.
  • Turbine fixed atop three columns all connected to a triangular frame for increased stabilization. The columns are partially submerged underwater for buoyancy.4