Skywind GmbH, a recent wind turbine manufacturer, was honored with the Windalliance Technology Award at the just completed Husum 2012 exhibition. This prize is an international award given to honor outstanding innovation in wind energy. Skywind received the award for their innovative 3.4-MW modular prototype turbine that allows for a new generation of turbine component testing, and eventually, a lower cost to wind energy.
A jury of four experts honored the Rendsburg (Schleswig-Holstein) based company. The company wins advertising and exhibition space at Hannover Messe 2013 and HUSUM WindEnergy 2014 to the value of €30,000.
New components for wind turbines are usually tested on a supplier’s test benches or at research establishments, which can only approach real operating conditions. The development honored here has created a modular test turbine in the multi-megawatt range with which manufacturers can test their products under real conditions. The wind turbine has a modular design which enables the main components – such as gears, generators and main bearings – to be separately controlled, exchanged and tested during operation. This means it is possible to install components and very varied drive concepts from different manufacturers into the system without the need for cost-intensive customisation work. “Unique, ambitious and revolutionary”
The tower of the 3.4-MW system also serves as a crane. This means the turbine can be erected at not easily accessible locations with little effort, which also further reduces costs. For example, less clearing is required at high-altitude wooded sites, and also less transport effort and costs. The first test turbine is to be erected in summer 2013, prior to series production.
“SkyWind’s overall concept is unique, ambitious, and revolutionary”, said juror Alois Schaffarczyk, professor of mathematics and engineering mechanics at Kiel University of Applied Science. The four-person jury was unanimous in its decision to award the prize to SkyWind. “The concept is a milestone in cost reduction. We hope that our decision will give the wind industry motivation to develop further creative cost reduction solutions.”
In addition to SkyWind, the other nominated businesses, Münster-based Kenersys Europe and HOCHTIEF Solutions, represented by its centres of excellence for offshore wind and tunnel construction in Hamburg and Essen, presented their innovations to the public at the award ceremony in Husum,
For blades, the company turned to Global Blade Technology. GBT and Skywind inked the contract for designing blades for this innovative two-bladed turbine in September 2011. GBT was able to offer a fully-integrated blade solution that includes the design and production the molds, tooling, and prototypes needed for blade certification, as well as turbine testing and qualification.
The production of these blades will start in January 2013, just 15 months after the contract was signed, in an offshore facility in Emden in northern Germany. GBT says its integrated blade system delivers everything from blade design to production, in a short period.
“The SkyWind 52-m blade stands as a highly optimized design, with a balance between aero, loads, and structures,” says Mark Klaassen, GBT’s lead blade design engineer for the project.
State-of-the-art multi body simulation software (SIMPACK) was used to generate loads. Thanks to this software, lower loads were realized which resulted in a light, durable, and cost-effective blade. GBT uses advanced design tools such as Ansys and FOCUS 6 in combination with tools developed in-house to shorten development time.“We are getting ready for production and although we are only building prototypes, six-sigma methods will be followed,” says Klaassen.
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