The super-long blades began operation when Alstom inaugurated the largest offshore wind turbine in the world in March 2012, at Carnet in the Loire-Atlantique region of France.
The composite structures have been developed specifically for Alstom’s Haliade 150 turbine, a 6 megawatt (MW) wind turbine in a collaboration between Alstom and LM Wind to boost energy capture while keeping loads down.
The innovative blade design underwent several rounds of testing before it was installed on the turbine in France.
The Haliade 150 wind turbine function without a gear box (by direct drive) and is fitted with a permanent magnet generator to reduce operating and maintenance costs. The turbine is fitted with technology that protects the generator by diverting unwanted stresses from the wind to the turbine’s tower. Haliade 150 has a 150 m rotor.Article continues below…
LM Wind Vice-President for Sales and Marketing, Ian Telford, says “It was great to see LM blades mounted on the newest and biggest turbine in the world, as well as see the excitement this technological leap has made in the offshore world.
“Our technology enables us to design and manufacture relatively lighter glass fibre and polyester blades for the length, and LM Wind has the ability to handle the industrialisation of these blades, which is not easy.”
In preparation for its certification, the first Haliade 150 will undergo a series of year-long tests on land at the Carnet site, before a second turbine is placed in the sea off the Belgian coast in late 2012. Pre-series production is planned for 2013, with production in series due to start in 2014.
The Haliade turbine was chosen by a consortium led by EDF Energies Nouvelles, which includes Dong Energy, Nass & Wind and wpd Offshore, in response to a call for tenders launched by the French Government that aims to install 3 gigawatts of wind turbine power off French shores before 2015.
Depending on the results of the tenders, Alstom and LM Wind may establish a blade manufacturing facility in Cherbourg, France, with the capacity to produce up to 100 sets of 73.5 meter blades per year. Production would commence in 2016.
LM Wind is a global component supplier to the wind energy industry, with operations from 13 manufacturing facilities worldwide and more than 140,000 blades produced since 1978.