Siemens Energy has launched its new offshore wind turbine, the SWT 4.0-130 at the annual conference of the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) in Vienna. This new wind turbine features a generating capacity of four MW and a rotor diameter of 130 m. The new design is a further advancement of the widely used SWT 3.6 family, more units of which have been sold and installed worldwide than any other offshore wind turbine.
Siemens took the opportunity of the EWEA Conference to also introduce its new platform concept for wind turbines. In the future, each of Siemens’s wind turbines will be bundled under the umbrella of one of four product platforms. The objective of this platform strategy is to standardize and modularize the products.
Siemens SWT 4.0-130 wind turbine uses all the key technologies of the proven 3.6-MW family. The nacelle and tower are advanced variants of the 3.6-MW wind turbine design. The rotor blades are manufactured using Siemens’ proven IntegralBlade process, cast in a single piece without use of adhesive bonding. The new B63 rotor blade, 63-m long, is the longest and technologically most advanced blade in the 4-MW class. The B63 sweeps an area nearly equivalent to the area of two football fields.
Thanks to optimized coupling of blade bending and twisting, these aeroelastic blades 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, which boosts wind power capture and thus increases unit performance. Since December 2012, the prototype of the SWT 4.0-130 has been installed and commissioned at the Osterild Test Center in Denmark and is showing excellent performance.
Serial production is expected to begin in 2015. “The advancements in the SWT 4.0-130 increase energy capture by up to 15% over our best-selling SWT 3.6-120 type”, says Henrik Stiesdal, CTO at Siemens’ Energy Sector’s Wind Power Division. Siemens’ new platform design concept constitutes a further step in the industrialization of the wind power sector.
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 standardizing and modularizing components within our product platforms. This is a major step towards achieving our goal of making wind power independent from subsidizing”, says Stiesdal. In the future, each of the wind turbines offered by Siemens will belong to one of the platforms Siemens G2, G3, G4, or D6.
The name of each platform is dictated by a combination of the applied drive technology and the performance class of the wind turbines. Platforms based on geared technology are denoted by the letter G (for geared drive), while product platforms featuring gearless technology are identified by the prefix D (for direct drive). With its 4-MW output, the SWT 4.0-130 wind turbine joins the well-known 3.6-MW turbines in the Siemens G4 platform.
Filed Under: News, Turbines