Siemens Energy has begun real-world testing of its new 154-metre rotor on a 6 MW offshore wind turbine in Sterild, Denmark. This SWT-6.0-154 turbine has the longest rotor blades in the world, each measuring 75 metres in length. With a record diameter of 154 metres, each SWT-6.0-154 turbine can produce 25 million kWh of green electricity at sea, enough to power 6,000 homes.
As early as May 2011, Siemens installed the first prototype of its new 6 MW turbine with a 120-metre rotor (SWT-6.0-120). It has been working perfectly for over a year now. The standard version of the 6 MW turbine will be equipped with the 154-metre rotor and is expected to set new benchmarks for offshore wind.
"The launch of real-world testing of the 6 MW turbine with a 154-metre rotor turbine is an exciting step in the development of competitive technologies for the large offshore wind farms of the future. We have used our more than 30 years of experience in this technical field to develop this driveless turbine and its 75-metre-long rotor blades," explains Henrik Stiesdal, Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of the Wind Power Division in Siemens' Energy Sector.
This driveless technology allows for a compact design: thanks to Siemens' Direct Drive technology, the SWT-6.0 is the lightest turbine in its class, with a gondola weighing only 200 tons. This robust design, combined with a lightweight weight, reduces the cost of infrastructure, installation and maintenance of offshore wind turbines.
"This turbine also offers greater fuel efficiency and profitability over its life cycle," adds Henrik Stiesdal. Siemens has specially developed the SWT-6.0 for operation in the harsh conditions of the high seas. "The new 6 MW turbine marks an important milestone in the evolution of wind technologies,"notes Henrik Stiesdal. Compared to the first 30 kW turbine we developed 30 years ago, the new STW-6.0-154 will produce 1,000 times more electricity per year. The evolution of the rotor blade is equally impressive: the first blades of the 30 kW turbine were five metres long, roughly the length of a minibus, while the new 75-metre rotor blades have a wingspan equivalent to that of an Airbus 380, the world's largest aircraft.
The first Siemens 6 MW wind turbine was installed in May 2011 at the test centre in Vresre, Denmark. Due to height restrictions, a 120-metre rotor was used on this prototype. It has been in operation for over a year now and has set new production records during this testing phase. The 154-metre rotor is installed on a 6 MW turbine at the new national test centre in Sterild, Denmark, and the official commissioning of the turbine took place on 6 October 2012, when the centre was inaugurated.
The B75 blade used on the new rotor is characterized by high stability and low weight. Its special aerodynamic profile offers optimal performance over a wide range of wind speeds. For the construction of the B75 blade, Siemens implemented the patented IntegralBlade® process, which allows rotor blades to be manufactured in a single block without junction points. An IntegralBlade blade® weighs up to 20% less than a blade built using conventional methods. In the end, the well thought-out profile of these blades increases energy efficiency, while their lightness has a positive impact on the cost of the mast and foundations.
Siemens will soon install two additional new SWT-6.0 prototypes at the Gunfleet Sands wind farm in the UK. These will be the first prototypes of this new generation of offshore wind turbines to be tested on the high seas. Both wind turbines will be equipped with the 120-metre rotor.
Find out more: www.siemens.com/energy