Engineering Innovation Podcast and Radio Series

Floating Windmills

PostedJune 10, 2007

Randy Atkins:  Today’s offshore windmills can’t go too far out to sea because they need support towers driven into the ocean floor.  Paul Sclavounos, an MIT engineer, suggests floating them beyond the horizon.

Paul Sclavounos:  Buoyancy is free, and all you need to figure out is what is the best way to moor it to the sea floor.

Randy Atkins:  He says steel cables could be anchored there, while onshore...

Paul Sclavounos:  All you need to build is a buoy, you pour cement in, and then you put the turbine on top, and you’re ready to go.

Randy Atkins:  Sclavounos says windmills as tall as the Washington Monument could be attached to the cables and stabilized by simple buoyancy and tension.  With the National Academy of Engineering, Randy Atkins, WTOP Radio.