Selsam SuperTurbine

Selsam SuperTurbine
The innovative Selsam SuperTurbine off-shore concept was designed for simplicity, as it eliminates all components that do not directly contribute to power generation, resulting in a low-cost wind turbine. The unit is equipped with multiple, synchronous, small rotors and with a universal joint that enables it to tilt. Because of this structure, the turbines resemble reeds bending in the wind. The optional addition of a blimp can make this floating wind turbine even more powerful. The Selsam prototype was able to produce 6,000 watts in 32.5 mph winds, proving the efficiency and effectiveness of the design.

Much like a human back, the unit has a universal joint, attaching it to the generator, which allows it to tilt but not to rotate. The result is that slip rings are no longer required. In order to minimize the amount of salt water splashing the seal, the shroud was extended high above the water line. In addition, the seal can be kept under oil or air pressure for maximum protection.

The company provides the following explanation: “Like a flock of geese, each rotor favorably affects the next in line. Like a set of louvres, the tilted rotors pull in fresh wind from above, deflecting their wakes downward to insure fresh wind for succeeding rotors and, like a stack of kites, to add overall lift which helps support the driveshaft against gravity and downwind thrust forces.  The rotors act as gyroscopes or spinning tops, stabilizing the driveshaft where they are attached.”  

The unit’s fulcrum is formed via a flotation canister near the water’s surface. Mooring below the surface balances the weight of the small rotors and driveshaft. The driveshaft is responsible for generating electricity once the wind rotates the turbine’s blades. It also consists of a buoyant, thickened, hollow base that acts as the main bearings of the turbine. A blimp can be added to the turbine in order to generate additional power.

“Many other mooring methods, including interconnected mooring grids, are appropriate depending on windfarm layout, number and size of turbines, local marine traffic, tides, currents, waves, and depth,” the company further explains.

The Selsam SuperTurbine is designed to withstand harsh weather and storms. When necessary, it can lay itself down or submerge completely using its flooding chambers. It also poses no risk to passing vessels, since it is relatively lightweight and mobile.

TFOT recently covered other innovative wind turbines, including the Repower 5M,  which is one of the largest and most powerful wind turbines in the world, with a rated power of 5 megawatts, a rotor diameter of 126 meters, and a hub height of around 90 meters at sea and 120 meters on land. In addition, TFOT reported on Blue H Technologies’ plans to build a deep water offshore wind turbine by using a new technology, which they have developed based on ideas borrowed from offshore oil and gas platforms.

More information about the Selsam SuperTurbine can be found on Selsam’s webpage.

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About the author

Noa Rotkop

Noa has a B.A. in Philosophy from Tel-Aviv University and is currently completing her degree in Arts. She has also applied for MA studies in Philosophy, which she plans to begin next year.

View all articles by Noa Rotkop