Wind Catching Systems was founded in 2017 by Asbjørn Nes, Arthur Kordt and Ole Heggheim with an ambition to radically improve offshore wind technology. The goal was to build a competitive system to operate without subsidies.
To overcome this challenge, the entrepreneurs began by asking a seemingly simple question: was the basic design used in offshore wind production today the right one? Was a technology based on that of old Dutch corn mills truly the most efficient method for offshore wind power production? The current technology had performed well on land and bottom fixed offshore developments, but did this entail that it was necessarily the best system on a floater?
The three founders suspected this was not the case and decided to explore the possibility of producing floating offshore wind using an entirely new concept, putting their combined technical and industrial experiences to work. Nes led the technical design with, while Heggheim and Kordt contributed with his experience from project execution in the maritime and yard industry.
Inspired by Kai Levander, Heggheim's former colleague at Aker Yards, they started working on the idea of multi-turbines. The goal was to maximize power generation from a concentrated area. It soon became clear that a multitude of small turbines gave a much better result per area than a big turbine. Easy maintenance, durability and simplicity were the guiding principles when the first Windcatcher was designed as a sail on a trimaran.
One of the defining features of the Windcatcher is that it bypasses the cubic law valid for a single turbine - weight and cost scales with the radius^3 while energy production scales with radius^2. The scaling potential for the Windcatching Technology is phenomenal. This is just the beginning.
Once the initial design was completed in 2017, the team brought the design to Aibel, a leading European offshore wind segment supplier, and IFE (Institute for Energy Technology) to further develop the technology. In this phase, they worked closely with Roy Stenbro, Head of Wind Energy at IFE, and Jan Wigaard, Manager Concept & Studies Offshore Wind at Aibel. Wind Catching Systems created a roadmap to de-risk and qualify the design through its work.
In 2020, Ferd and North Energy came in as the company’s first external investors. With support from Innovation Norway, Wind Catching Systems now has a solid financial foundation to further develop the technology and build a company that can truly have a transformational impact on the offshore wind industry.