AWEA CEO Tom Kiernan and Board Chair Mike Garland have set high goals for the wind industry. Garland, for instance, suggested working to create 140,000 MW of new wind power over the next 15 years. And lest you think the U.S. is nearing saturation, Oklahoma renewable-energy spokesperson Kylah McNabb suggested her state still has room for about 1,500 more turbines.
Almost in response to these remarks, Siemens, at the recent Windpower 2015 show, announced the launch of its model SWT-2.3-120, a 2.3-MW turbine with a 120-m rotor diameter. “Wind turbine development has a short-technology cycle, and we are constantly focusing on new development to keep lowering the life cycle costs,” said Mike McManus, Business Development and Strategy for Siemens Wind Power, Onshore Americas.
While the best U.S. winds are in the Great Plains, many other locations have harvest-ready sources as well, and the new Siemens unit is aimed at both of these medium and low wind resources. The new turbine is based on the previous G2 (geared platform) model with a conventional drivetrain layout while sporting significant improvements.
For instance, the larger rotor sweeps through 23% more area than the previous model for about 10% more Annual Energy Production. The blades are designed for an aero acoustic reduction and have a 106 dB A rating. Siemens said the blade is unique in that its design couples its bending and twisting capability to unload the blade during wind gusts which reduces the blade fatigue loads.
The gearbox is a version used in the company’s 3 MW turbines but sized for 2.3 MW. The company says it sports two planetary sections and one helical section.
And talk about all American. “The nacelles and hubs will be assembled at our facility in Hutchinson, Kansas; the blades were designed at our aerodynamic R&D center in Boulder, Colorado and will be manufactured at our blade factor in Fort Madison, Iowa; and our national network of wind service technicians is ready to keep these turbines running optimally throughout their entire lifecycle,” said Jacob Andersen, CEO, Siemens Wind Power, Onshore Americas
“We have chosen to go astray from the cylindrical to a more rectangular nacelle design and give technicians more access around the drive train. Also, we have an open filtered airflow through the nacelle that extends the standard operation range,” said McMannus. The company also has packages for cold and hot weather to further extend the operating range.
On the electrical side, the synchronous induction generator has no slip rings, and that trims maintenance tasks. Eight high-capacity yaw motors keep the turbine pointed in the right direction.
The company’s Netconverter, mounted at the base of the turbine, provides full power conversion with significant features. “Most competitors have a partial conversion system, but this one can control active and reactive power separately so it can put more reactive power into the grid when necessary. That is useful for wind farms far away from load centers because some grids will pay for that,” said McMannus.
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Filed Under: News, Turbines