Top wind turbine designs
Rising demand for increased energy yield in the renewable sector has led to many innovations in designing of wind turbines. To enable generation of power in various conditions such as low wind, wind turbine companies have come up with new designs with increased capacity.
MHI Vestas V164 8MW
Originally announced by Vestas as a 7MW unit in 2011, the uprated V164 8MW has recently been unveiled by MHI Vestas Offshore Wind. The new version of 8MW platform is claimed to have reached 9MW at specific site conditions. In December last year, its prototype at Østerild broke the energy generation record for a commercially available offshore wind turbine, producing 216,000 kWh (actual figures 215,999.1 kWh) over a 24-hour period. The wind turbine features 80m blades, with each weighing 35 tonnes. Dong Energy's Burbo Bank extension, which is currently under construction, is the first project to use the V164.
Adwen AD 8-180
Adwen’s wind turbine is an 8MW platform with a 180-meter diameter rotor. Based on the 5MW platform, the wind turbine has high-rated gearbox, with a 70% higher torque capacity compared with gearboxes used in 6MW-plus turbines. The first prototype of the platform, which features 88m blades, was planned to be installed in Bremerhaven (Germany). The serial production of the wind turbine is expected to begin in 2018. Companies, including Iberdrola, Engie, EDPR and RES, have already opted the AD 8-180 to equip offshore wind farms in France for a total of capacity of about 1.5GW. Adwen is a 50-50 joint-venture of AREVA and Gamesa dedicated to offshore wind. Adwen is responsible for the design, manufacturing, installation, commissioning and services of offshore wind turbines.
Image: Adwen AD 8-180 prototype. Photo courtesy of Adwen.
Siemens SWT-8.0-154 8MW
Siemens' SWT-8.0-154 8MW is a direct drive wind turbine platform for offshore and onshore wind farms. Compared to the company’s 7MW model, the 8MW turbine has been claimed to result in 10% higher annual energy production (AEP) under offshore wind conditions. To upgrade the offshore direct drive wind turbine to 8MW, Siemens introduced new magnet technology with an even higher grade than that of the previous platform. The 8MW has over 14% higher rated power compared to the 7MW turbine. In January this year, its prototype was certified by DNV GL to confirm safety features for pilot operation. Siemens Wind Power has installed the latest version of its offshore direct drive wind turbine at the national test center in Østerild, Denmark. The final type certificate for the SWT-8.0-154 platform is expected for 2018, with the model entering serial production in 2019.
Enercon E-126 7.5MW
Manufactured by the German company Enercon, the E-126 is an onshore wind turbine model with a hub height of 135m and rotor diameter of 126m. The turbine has the capacity to produce up to 7.58MW and remained as the world’s largest wind turbine for several years. It features power electronics and provides grid stabilising capabilities. The Markbygden Wind Farm, which is under construction in Sweden, is expected to feature more than 1,100 Enercon turbines to produce 4,000MW. The wind farm will comprise a mix of Enercon E-126 7.58 MW wind turbines and Enercon E-101 3.05 MW wind turbines.
Image: Enercon E-126 wind turbine. Photo courtesy of Jfz/Wikimedia Commons.
The Senvion 6.2M152 is an offshore turbine with a rotor diameter of 152m. At wind speeds of 9.5 m/s, the platform yields up to 20% higher energy compared to its predecessor Senvion 6.2M126 that has a rotor diameter of 126m. The turbine has a design life of 25 years. With a rated power of 6.15 MW, each Senvion 6.2M152 turbine can supply around 4,000 homes with electricity. Senvion is a global manufacturer of onshore and offshore wind turbines with rated outputs of 2MW to 6.15MW and rotor diameters of 82m to 152m. For the first floating pilot wind farm in France, the French environment and energy management Agency (ADEME) has awarded EolMed for the construction of three to four Senvion 6.2M152 in the French Mediterranean Sea.
GE Haliade 6MW
The Haliade 150-6MW is a three-bladed wind turbine with a 150m diameter rotor and a rated power of 6 MW. Suitable for sites with a reference wind speed of 50m/s (10 minutes average) and a 50-year extreme gust speed of 70m/s (3 seconds average), the turbine, with a 73.5m light blade, can supply power to the equivalent of about 5,000 European homes. After the technology tests and performance measurement in Le Carnet, France, GE obtained Type A certificate for its first Haliade 150-6MW prototype. The company will supply 66 Haliade 150-6MW for the 396 MW Merkur offshore wind farm project, located in the North Sea.
Image: GE Renewable Energy announces that the first nacelle (out of 66) that will be part of the Merkur Offshore windfarm has recently left the assembly line. Photo courtesy of GE Renewable Energy.