Feature

Mar/Apr preview: New turbines' boost to energy yields


Gail Rajgor

As ever, this year’s European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) exhibition played host to the launch and/or presentation of new turbines, components and ancillary services by key players in the market. In terms of turbine design, arguably the highlights came from Nordex, GE, NGentech and Siemens, although not necessarily in that order.

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This article excerpt is taken from the forthcoming issue of Renewable Energy Focus magazine (March/April 2013 issue). To register to receive a digital copy click here. (Note - free of charge to qualifying individuals).

A new generation of onshore machines

Germany’s Nordex took the wraps off its fourth generation turbine, which it says achieves an additional yield of up to 31% at locations with medium (IEC2) and strong (IEC1) wind speeds.

With this in mind, the company will particularly be targeting wind markets in the UK and Ireland, Scandinavia, France, Turkey and Northern Germany, broadening its existing Generation Gamma range with the addition of highly efficient systems for windy locations, it said.

“We have reached a new stage of evolution based on our proven multi-megawatt technology,” said Dr. Jürgen Zeschky, CEO of Nordex SE. “Our foremost goal was to lower the electricity production costs.” Significantly, just a day into the EWEA show, the company received its first order for the new Generation Delta turbines from Raahen Tuulienergia Oy in Finland.

There are two turbines in the range so far. For medium wind speed sites, the 3MW N117/3000 provides a 20% increase in nominal output over its predecessor. Designed for high wind speed locations, there’s the 3.3MW N100/3300 unit, which Nordex says gives an increase in nominal output of more than 30%.

The higher nominal output of these turbines has a positive effect on energy yields. “Yet, despite this substantial increase in output, sound power levels have remained stable in both wind classes.”

At the same time, substantially larger rotors are being used in both wind classes. The rotor diameter of the N117/3000 has grown by 17m, resulting in an increase of around 37% in the rotor sweep and significantly higher efficiency with around 10% higher number of full load hours, the company added. The N100/3300 meantime has a rotor diameter ten metres larger than its predecessor, driving the swept area of the rotor up by 23% and contributing to even higher energy yields.

The Generation Delta’s turbines come with taller hub heights per wind class, enabling “additional gains in annual energy production and opening up complex forested sites for wind turbine installations”.

In fact, Nordex is offering a steel tube tower with a hub height of 120m for medium wind-speed locations for the first time - the N100/3300 is available on a steel tube tower with a hub height of 100m...

For the rest of the article in print format, subscribe to Renewable Energy Focus magazine. Find out about new turbine technology from the likes of GE Wind, which recently took the top 2012 supplier slot from Vestas, NGenTec, and Siemens Wind.

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