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Saturday, November 17, 2012

Wind turbine with the world’s largest rotor goes into operation



16 November 2012 - In October 2012, Siemens Energy has begun field testing of its new 154 m rotor for the 6.0 MW offshore wind turbine in Østerild, Denmark. The SWT-6.0-154 turbine is equipped with the world’s longest rotor blades – each blade is 75 meters in length. With a record rotor diameter of 154 meters, each SWT-6.0-154 turbine can produce 25 million kilowatt hours of clean electricity in offshore locations, enough to supply 6,000 households.

In May 2011 Siemens installed the first prototype of its new 6.0 MW turbine using a 120 m rotor. It has now been operating successfully for well over a year. The serial version of the 6.0 MW turbine will use the 154 m rotor and is expected to become the new benchmark in the offshore wind industry.

“The start of field testing of the 154 m rotor for the 6-MW is an exciting step in the development of competitive technologies for the large offshore wind farms of the future,” Henrik Stiesdal, CTO of the wind power division within the Siemens Energy Sector, says.

The gearless drive technology permits a compact design: Using Siemens` Direct Drive technology the SWT-6.0 is the lightest turbine in its class, having a nacelle weight of only 200 tonnes. “At the same time, the turbine delivers an increased energy yield and offers greater profitability over its life cycle,” Stiesdal adds.

Siemens developed the SWT-6.0 specifically for demanding conditions in offshore locations. “Compared to our first 30 kW turbine, which we developed 30 years ago, the new STW-6.0-154 will produce over a thousand times more energy per year.” The rotor blade development is equally impressive. The first blade of the 30 kW turbine was five meters long, approximately the length of a minibus, while the new 75-meter rotor blades have a length corresponding to that of an Airbus 380 plane, the world’s largest aircraft.

The B75 blade used in the new rotor is characterized by high stability and low weight. Special aerodynamic profiles deliver optimum performance at a wide range of wind speeds. For the manufacturing of the B75 blade, Siemens uses the patented IntegralBlade process, which permits rotor blades to be produced from a single casting without adhesive joints. An IntegralBlade is up to 20% lighter than blades manufactured with traditional methods. Overall, combining an intelligent rotor blade profile with low weight helps lower the cost of wind energy.

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