U.S. to Test World's Most Powerful Wind Turbine

turbine test
Image Credit: Clemson University Relations

By The Maritime Executive 10-26-2017 02:34:41

MHI Vestas Offshore Wind and Clemson University in South Carolina have announced that the world’s most powerful wind turbine (the V164-9.5 MW) will have all testing and verification of the wind turbine’s gearbox and main bearings carried out at the university’s 15MW test bench.

The V164-9.5 MW wind turbine is the turbine most likely to be used for the first round of major offshore wind projects in the U.S.

The testing allows MHI Vestas to gain a better understanding of how the 9.5MW gearbox and bearings will react over the course of a 20-plus year lifecycle. Through the use of big data from the test results, MHI Vestas will optimize the service strategy for the turbine to ensure optimum reliability and minimize component fatigue.

The testing project is valued at $35 million and marks MHI Vestas' first major investment in the U.S. MHI Vestas also makes use of testing facilities in Denmark and the U.K. (Isle of Wight).

In November 2009, the U.S. Department of Energy awarded Clemson University the largest grant in the university’s history, $45 million, to build and operate a facility to test next-generation wind-turbine drivetrain technology. The 82,000-square-foot, $98 million facility was designed to house not only the wind-turbine drivetrain testing facility, but also grid integration studies. The Energy Innovation Center can test drivetrains on two test rigs: one up to 7.5MW and the other up to 15MW.

The V164-9.5 MW Turbine

•             9.5MW rated power, with an optimal rotor to generator ratio
•             Redesigned gearbox and cooling system upgrades from the V164-9.0 MW
•             80-meter blades, the equivalent of nine double decker London buses
•             Each blade weighs 35 tons
•             Swept area of 21,124 square meters (227,400 square feet), larger than the London Eye
•             The nacelle is 20 meters (66 feet) long, eight meters (26 feet) wide and eight meters (26 meters) high, weighing approximately 390 tons
•             Approximate hub height of 105 meters (345 feet)
•             Approximate tip height of 187 meters (614 feet)
•             World record production by a single wind turbine of 216 MWh in 24-hour period (December 2016)