Odin Energy is lining up tasks in Italy and South Korea. Can it find a niche to complete via mainstream wind turbines?


Jachild is a contributing writer for GTM, concentrated on worldwide fads in energy storage and wind. He is based in Barcelona, Spain.

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Odin Energy says its wind tower idea have the right to bring wind power to city locations and island grids. (Credit: Odin Energy)

South Korean firm Odin Energy wishes to carve out a new niche with a vertical-axis wind wind turbine (VAWT) tower designed for metropolitan settings.The company’scircular tower concepthave the right to have as much as 12 floors, each containing a central VAWT, permitting for much higher energy manufacturing per unit of area than would certainly be feasible with a single turbine.

As well as increasing complete rated power, the firm says the top floors of its Odin towers deserve to accessibility greater wind speeds and also therefore supply approximately four times the average electrical energy manufacturing of a ground-installed wind turbine.

Test files checked out by GTM present that a protokind tower accomplished a 62 percent rise in power performance compared to a standalone generator, based upon an average 16.5 percent increase in wind rate.

A videoof the protokind Odin tower, built in 2011 on Jeju Island, South Koreaand tested by the Korea Testing & Research Institute and also the Jeju Energy Corporation in between 2015 and 2017, reflects that the idea is almost silent in procedure, making it suitable for city atmospheres.

Odin Energy founder and Vice President Soo Yun Track told GTM the agency is in talks about structure towers in South Korea as component of a movetotransform island gridsto renewable power and, independently, as component of azero-power structure initiativeby the Seoul metropolitan federal government.

The Seoul project would involve adding Odin tower floors onto an existing building, Tune said in an interview.

The capacity to add Odin tower frameworks onto existing city rooftops “is one toughness that we think we have other wind modern technologies,” sassist Hyokon Zhiang, an Odin Energy adviser, in a video interview.

Elsewbelow, the Italian VAWT manufacturer Ropatec, which gives the 19-kilowatt turbines provided in Odin towers, is in discussions through a potential construction-sector customer in Italy. “Ropatec has researches from the Italian industry,” evidenced Ropatec’s Carlo Zanella in an email.

Odin Energy approximates the funding price for a first-of-its-kind10-story tower would be roughly $1.4 million, with a levelized expense of energy (LCOE) of approximately $90 per megawatt-hour.

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Although this cost can most likely be lessened by structure taller towers or with the serial manufacturing of tower components, it remains high compared to standard onshore wind.

Lazard’s latest LCOE study, publimelted in October, puts onshore wind LCOE worths in a variety from $26 to $54 per megawatt-hour.

A higher-cost wind power technology for nicheapplications

However before, Odin Energy’s backers — which incorporate founder Tune, current CEO Young Mi Back and South Oriental brokerage and investment banking firms Shinyoung Securities and Hanyang Securities — execute not see the tower concept completing directly via onshore wind.

Instead, sassist Zhiang, the innovation was likely to appeal to city developers or providers tasked with building island also microgrids, both settings where area could be at a premium and also the low noise profile of Odin towers could be an ascollection.

In island settings, Zhiang sassist, Odin towers would certainly more than likely compete through diesel generation.

The towers could well be competitive in such environments: The latest Lazard examine to include diesel, in 2017, put the LCOE for diesel-based reciprocating engines at in between $197 and also $281 per megawatt-hour.

In cities and also other urban environments, meanwhile, the cost of power from Odin towers might be counter by commercial revenues from alternate applications hoprovided in the ground and reduced floors, according toZhiang.

In a 12-story structure, for instance, the lowest one or two floors could be supplied for electric-automobile charging stations or other commercial or industrial tasks.

For all Odin Energy’s promise, Brian Gaylord, principal analyst through Wood Mackenzie for Latin America and also Southern Europe, said the agency encounters difficulties in gaining a foothold in the wind industry.

“There"s a factor that virtually all wind power construct is done via three-bladed, upwind, geared drivetrain generator models,” he said in an email. “It"s the most cost-competitive way to develop wind power generation.”

Gaylord asserted countless quiet VAWT innovations have actually come out of South Korea over the years, stating that “none of them has actually really ever acquired tractivity.”

Vertical-axis wind turbines and various other small-scale wind power modern technologies have actually so much failed toacquire much industry tractionversus large-scale wind generators at energy scaleor with solar PV at dispersed range. Distributed wind players continue to hope that research study and also advancement funding can increase effectiveness and also drive down expenses to allow the modern technology to complete in particular niche applications, such as microgrids.

But Gaylord detailed that clintends of better efficiency “may be true,however that does not really matter because the name of the game is the cost of electrical energy, particularly when we talk around distributed generation. I think it’s extremely much PV"s domajor.”