GE starts testing world’s biggest 13MW offshore wind turbine

Wind turbine manufacturer GE Renewable Energy has unveiled latest wind turbine prototype, an optimised version of its Halifax-X offshore wind turbine design that can deliver a massive 13MW of output.

It is the largest turbine that GE has produced, standing 248 metres tall, with 107 metre long blades and offers around double the generation capacity of most wind turbines currently deployed around the world.

GE said that a working version of the wind turbine, optimised for offshore projects, had been deployed and was currently undergoing a series of tests to satisfy the requirements for certification.

Credit: GE Renewable Energy

“With three years in the making, the Haliade-X platform has proven to be a successful story. Combined with almost 5 GW of customer commitments and an international testing and R&D program, the 13 MW uprated version is a true testament of how we continue to innovate and develop our Haliade-X technology to address our customers’ needs,” GE’s CTO for offshore wind, Vincent Schellings said.

The larger blade size and taller tower allows for the mammoth turbine to draw more energy out of the wind and offers 4 per cent higher conversion efficiency than GE’s previous 12MW version of the Haliade-X prototype that has been operating in Rotterdam since November 2019. Deploying the larger turbines in offshore projects can also achieve high utilisation factors, with some projects achieving capacity factors in excess of 60 per cent.

To put the output into perspective, GE claims that using the 13MW model, one rotation of the blades can “generate enough electricity to power one house for more than two days.”

During testing, the 12MW Haliade-X prototype set a record for a single day of electricity generation at 228MWh, which would be enough power delivered in a single day to supply around 45 Australian homes for an entire year.

GE’s 13MW turbine model is expected to see its first deployment at the Dogger Bank Wind Farm in the United Kingdom, with 190 units on order and scheduled to be installed starting in 2023. GE said that it had already secured 4.8GW worth of orders for the Haliade-X turbine model from projects across the United Kingdom and the United States.

The launch of the GE prototype follows the unveiling of a 14MW model by Spanish company Siemens Gamesa, which features 108 metre long blades and a rotor diameter of 222 metres.

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