Vestas reveals offshore turbine with world's largest sweep
Denmark's Vestas is looking to become an industry leader in offshore wind, and has introduced the V236-15.0 MW turbine to take the fight to GE. The new design's blades offer the largest swept area in the world.
Vestas got into the offshore turbine business over 25 years ago with the installation of 500-kW V39 units at Denmark's Tunoe Knob wind farm. The size and energy production capacities of turbines has grown steadily ever since, with GE Renewable Energy recently announcing that its world-beating 14-MW Haliade-X will be part of phase C of the Dogger Bank offshore wind project due for completion in 2026. Now Vestas has gone even bigger.
Thanks to its three 115.5-m (379-ft) blades, the new design is reported to have the largest swept area in the world, which adds up to 43,742 m2. It should be good for sites where wind speeds are high too, with Vestas saying that it's "rated to withstand IEC 1 extreme wind conditions up to 50 m/s and IEC T up to 57 m/s."
Each turbine is expected to deliver around 80 GWh of energy per year, depending on site-specific conditions, which is said to work out as being enough to power 20,000 European homes.
The V236-15.0 MW also offers the potential to reduce the number of turbines deployed at offshore windfarm level – with Vestas calculating that the "offshore turbine offers 65 percent higher annual energy production than the V173-9.5 MW, and for a 900-MW wind park it boosts production by five percent with 34 fewer turbines."
The company expects the first V236-15.0 MW prototype to be built in 2022, with serial production following two years later. It has a design lifetime of 25 years.
“With the V236-15.0 MW, we raise the bar in terms of technological innovation and industrialization in the wind energy industry, in favor of building scale," says Anders Nielsen, Vestas CTO. "By leveraging Vestas’ extensive proven technology, the new platform combines innovation with certainty to offer industry-leading performance while reaping the benefits of building on the supply chain of our entire product portfolio. The new offshore platform forms a solid foundation for future products and upgrades.”