The prototype of Gamesa’s G128-5.0 MW offshore wind turbine was installed in the Canary Islands during the first half of 2013, and was formally commissioned in July. The new unit has a nominal power output of 5 megawatts (MW) and was installed at the Arinaga Quay in Gran Canaria. The turbine has a rotor diameter of 128m and a total height of 154m. Now that the turbine has been commissioned, Gamesa can now progress towards obtaining certification.
Gamesa began the installation of the tower, nacelle and three blades of the new turbine in mid-April. The tower, which has a height of 90m, was manufactured by Windar (a joint venture between Gamesa and Daniel Alonso). The nacelle, manufactured at the company’s Tauste, Zaragoza factory, is 12.5m long, 4m high and wide, and weighs 72 tonnes. After the tower was hoisted into place assembly of the 62.5m, 15-tonne blades was completed at the end of May, since when the company has completed electrical installation work and connection to the network.
As highlighted in the second quarter 2013 issue of OWJ, the design of the G128-5 MW is derived from Gamesa’s proven 4.5MW unit. It has a modular, redundant design which is intended to ensure reliability, maximise energy output and optimise the cost of energy. Gamesa obtained design certification for the offshore turbine from Det Norske Veritas (DNV) late in 2012.
Samsung Heavy Industries is to test the drivetrain for its 7MW offshore wind turbine at Narec on the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI)-funded test rig that has been installed there. Samsung is shipping the nacelle for the wind turbine to Narec where it will be used to commission the 15MW-rated independent wind turbine nacelle test facility. This will be followed by a six-month programme of testing during which its performance will be monitored under simulated offshore operating conditions, including extreme weather events.
The UK’s business and energy minister, Michael Fallon, said Samsung’s decision to undertake the testing of the multi-megawatt offshore wind turbine at Narec’s test facility “proves the benefits that the facility can offer industry and demonstrates the opportunity for growth and jobs in the offshore sector.” ETI is investing £25m in the Narec facility through the design, development, supplying and commissioning of the test rig by GE Energy-Power Conversion and MTS Systems Corporation. The prototype 7MW turbine was delivered to Narec in August. Installation and alignment of the nacelle will be undertaken by PES UK Ltd while Shepherd Engineering Services will be installing the electrical equipment associated with the nacelle.
In early July, Vestas confirmed that the first eight V112-3.0 MW offshore turbines had been installed at the 48MW offshore project in Kårehamn, Sweden. The turbines were also part of the first shipment from Vestas’ pre-assembly facility in Esbjerg, Denmark. Uffe Vinther-Schou, senior vice president of Vestas Offshore, said installing the first V112-3.0 MW offshore turbines was “a key milestone” for Vestas’ offshore business.
“The V112 is a competitive offshore turbine and this is highlighted in the project pipeline of 161 turbines. We are preparing for a very busy period installing this turbine offshore,” he said. The 48MW Kårehamn project is the first of several V112-3.0 MW offshore projects to be constructed in the next two years. Later in 2013 and 2014 Vestas will also ship 73 V112-3.0 MW turbines to the 219MW Humber Gateway project in the UK, built by E.ON, as well as 72 V112-3.0 MW turbines for the 216MW Northwind offshore windfarm in Belgium. The installation was due to begin over the summer and the site is expected to be commissioned next year.
August saw what is claimed to be the largest and most powerful test bench in the wind industry begin operation at Vestas’ global testing centre in Aarhus, Denmark. The 20MW test bench is capable of testing the full nacelle of the company’s V164-8.0 MW, validating the performance, robustness and reliability of the turbine over a simulated 25-year lifetime. The test bench is 42m long and 9m wide. The total weight of the test bench, including the motors, wind simulator and generators is nearly 700 tonnes. Vestas installed 50m-deep concrete foundations to support the weight of the facility. Motors powering the bench produce 20MW and the torque exerted on the components of the turbine can be up to a massive 18 meganewton metres.
The new facility will test the drivetrain, including the gearbox, main shaft and generator of the V164-8.0 MW in a controlled environment, reproducing the conditions in the North Sea using a comprehensive and rigorous test regime based on experience and data gathered from over 25,000 turbines.
July also saw GL Renewables Certification (GL RC) selected by AMSC to conduct the A-Design Assessment of its 5.5MW full conversion offshore wind turbine (WT5000FC). The A-Design Assessment comprises a thorough evaluation of the turbine, ensuring that it meets the requirements of GL RC’s Guideline for the Certification of Offshore Wind Turbines (edition 2005), which addresses the safety philosophy, quality assurance and engineering integrity of the turbine, and verifies that the turbine complies with the standard in terms of its load assumptions and design. AMSC’s turbine design uses an advanced electrical pitch control system design. It is available in 50 or 60Hz, for various climate conditions and in different hub heights, different rotor diameters and blade types, to meet all type classes.
Recent weeks have also seen Moventas significantly expand its wind footprint by acquiring David Brown’s wind gearbox business and establish a UK-based company that it hopes will strengthen its wind gear manufacturing and service footprint. The new company will continue to work on the drivetrain for Samsung’s next generation 7MW offshore wind turbine. The newly-established company will be known as David Brown Wind UK (DB Wind UK). The new company will manufacture the 7MW gearboxes, with engineering and component supply from both UK and Finland. In addition to the gearbox for the Samsung turbine, Moventas also has its own multi-megawatt offshore gearbox technology for Areva and the FusionDrive gear and generator combination for DSME/DeWind. The acquisition also accelerates Moventas’ entry to the potentially lucrative UK and Irish wind service market with an existing business and local workshop. David Brown has an established service centre in Huddersfield, UK.
Prototype blade for V164-8.0 MW completed
Vestas has completed a prototype 80m blade for the V164-8.0 MW, the world’s most powerful offshore wind turbine, at its R&D centre on the Isle of Wight in the UK. The blade will now undergo an extensive testing regime to ensure reliability.
The 80m blade is the longest ever produced by Vestas and uses the ‘structural shell design,’ a proven concept in which the loads of the blade are carried in the shell, rather than using a spar at the centre of the blade. The swept area of the rotor will be 21,124m2.
In order to validate the strength and reliability of the blade it will be tested for six months, reproducing the wind conditions of the North Sea over a simulated 25 year lifetime.
World’s longest blades to be transported to test site
In June, SSP Technology in Denmark completed three prototype wind turbine blades for Samsung Heavy Industries’ 7MW offshore wind turbine. The 83.5 metre blades left SSP Technology in July to be transported to the UK for installation on a 7MW test offshore turbine. Each of the blades weighs more than 30 tonnes. SSP Technology has been working closely with Samsung on the project for some time, including blade design, tooling and mould manufacturing, production of test blade and prototype blade sets and execution of static and fatigue testing. OWJ