SIEMENS Energy has launched its latest offshore wind turbine.
The SWT 4.0-130, introduced at the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) annual conference in Vienna, has a generating capacity of four MW and a rotor diameter of 130 metres. It is an advancement of the SWT 3.6 family, more units of which have been sold and installed worldwide than any other offshore turbine.
Siemens also introduced its new platform concept for wind turbines. In the future, each of its turbine types will be bundled under the umbrella of one of four product platforms. The objective of the platform strategy is to standardise and modularise products.
The nacelle and tower of the 4.0-130 are advanced variants of the 3.6-MW turbine design. Rotor blades are manufactured using Siemens’ IntegralBlade process, cast in a single piece without the use of adhesive bonding. At 63 metres the new B63 rotor blade is the longest and “technologically most advanced” blade in the 4MW class. The B63 sweeps an area equivalent to almost the size of two football fields.
The aeroelastic blades are said to react more flexibly to high wind loads, absorbing forces similarly to the cushioning effect of shock absorbers on cars. This technology allows use of longer rotor blades that boost wind power capture and increase unit performance.
The prototype of the SWT 4.0-130 has been installed and commissioned at the Osterild Test Center in Denmark since December and is reported to be showing excellent performance. Serial production is expected to commence in 2015.
“The advancements designed into the SWT 4.0-130 increase energy capture by up to 15 percent over our best-selling SWT 3.6-120 type”, said a spokesman for the company’s Wind Power Division.
Following the model of the automotive industry, all wind turbines are bundled under the umbrella of a product platform. Each unit consists of five or six modules which are used within a single platform for various different turbines.
“We can reduce production and logistics costs by standardising and modularising components within our product platforms. This is a major step towards achieving our goal of making wind power independent from subsidising,” the company added.