From multi-megawatt turbines to subsea cables: offshore wind at the world’s leading expo

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Life-cycle based offshore wind generation cost levels drop much faster than held possible only few years ago, when project costs in Europe were typically in the €150 – 170/MWh range. Recent biddings for the Dutch 700 MW windfarm “Borssele” had a maximum €124/MWh ceiling (electricity price + subsidy), but some offers are expected substantially lower. The vigorous development of offshore wind energy will be a featured topic at WindEnergy Hamburg 2016. The leading global trade fair for wind energy, held from 27 to 30 September at the Hamburg Messe fair site, will see more than 1,200 companies showcasing their innovative products and services, representing all sectors of the value chain. Presumably about one-third of exhibitors will be companies serving the offshore segment, including maritime enterprises eager to seize the opportunity to expand into new areas of business.

Global offshore wind capacity grew in 2015 according GWEC statistics with 3,377 MW to 12,105 MW. The UK remained the world’s biggest single market with a 5,061 MW total and 566 MW new added. Germany’s installed capacity increased by 2,282 MW, propelling it to a second position with 3,295 MW total. China remainded the most important offshore growth market in Asia. It added 361 MW to a 1,018 MW total way ahead of Japan’s 50 MW and 5.5 MW in South Korea.

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At WindEnergy Hamburg 2016, three fair halls will reflect nearly the entire range of offshore wind technologies. Exhibitor Aerodyn Engineering developed a 6 MW two-bladed downwind SCD 6.0 turbine for typhoon-prone markets like China where the prototype operates, and it is licenced for the Chinese market to local firm MingYang. The engineering consultancy will further explain on a radical 8 MW floating SCD 8.0 nezzy concept, again incorporating a two-bladed downwind turbine. Envision of China serves the Chinese offshore market with a high-speed geared 4 MW turbine, and its comprehensive presence at WindEnergy Hamburg underlines its increasingly global approach. The biggest single booth at the world’s leading expo will be that of Envision. Operation in typhoon-prone conditions requires dedicated solutions, which these and other specialists active at Asian offshore markets will explain to the visitors.

Adwen’s will reveal more technical details about its new 8 MW medium speed AD 8-180 flagship with record 180-m rotor diameter, of which a prototype is planned later this year. It will be erected in Bremerhaven, Northern Germany, the company announced recently.

GE Offshore Wind during the first half of the year installed a new Haliade prototype at a test site in Denmark, and in parallel started comercial roll-out of the 6 MW turbine at Saint-Nazaire France.

Senvion will in Hamburg highlight the 6.15 MW high-speed product platform, comprising the latest 6.2M152 turbine and a pioneering 6.2M126 model for years operational in multiple windfarms.

Siemens will explain visitors about the geared (G4) and direct drive (D6/D7) portfolio. The 4 MW SWT-4.0-130 succeeded the 3.6 MW and the 7 MW SWT-7.0-154 (D7) succeeds the SWT-6.0-154 or D6. With large offshore project orders flowing in, including East Anglia ONE and Beatrice, the SWT-7.0-154 is well positioned. The separate Siemens business unit Transmission Solutions will present in Hamburg the latest offshore high-voltage power transmission system solutions, both DC and AC-based technology.

MHI Vestas will explain the V164-8.0MW flagship now available with 8.25 MW power mode for specific sites, while ‘maintaining the same expectations for performance and reliability. The latest V112-3.45MW upgrade comes with a 3.6 MW power mode.

The world’s leading trade fair for wind energy will not only feature global players but also national entities such as the Belgian Offshore Cluster, which represents 14 companies.

Components for offshore wind farms

A wide variety of international component providers exhibit in Hamburg. Among these are bearing, (main) shaft, couplings and generator gearbox suppliers, and gearbox producers including Eickhoff, Moventas, Multigear, and ZF. Winergy’s Vice President Sales Paul Bollwerk added: “We believe in offshore wind since delivering our first gearboxes for such turbines already back in 1991. WindEnergy 2016 offers a great opportunity to present our new offshore drivetrain innovations.

Connecting offshore wind turbines to the onshore high-voltage (AC) network is a formidable task and requires various kinds of in-field cables, and either HVAC or HVDC export cables depending upon offshore power collection and conversion solutions. Leading cable suppliers including Draka Cable, Nexans and Prysmian will inform visitors on different cable solutions. ABB, besides cabling provides (onshore) substations and related power infrastructure for offshore windfarms, including a major contract for the UK Rampion project.

Damen Shipyards presents in Hamburg a range of standardized service and (multi-purpose) utility vessel offerings. Germany’s Abeking & Rasmussen shipyard will explain on swath-type crew-transfer vessels. Windfarm installation and service vessel owners/operators show their latest hardware, design and other expertise. Among them A2SEA, Fred. Olsen Windcarrier, Van Oord Offshore Wind Projects, and Volker Stevin International.

Numerous additional exhibitors will offer services and components specifically for power generation on the open seas. The varied portfolio presented at the expo will include everything from helicopters to logistics, maintenance and diving services, and from towers and foundations through to navigation marks.

Offshore wind energy will also be a key item on the agenda of the WindEurope Summit. The conference will be held in parallel with WindEnergy Hamburg for the first time, at CCH (Congress Center Hamburg), which is located right next to the Hamburg Fair site.