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wind turbine

Acciona has created a hub in its El Romero Solar plant (Atacama, Chile) to test new photovoltaic technologies that will improve the efficiency and performance of solar energy facilities.
The hub will focus on the mechanical and energy capacity of double-sided crystalline, split-cell and thin-film cadmium telluride (CdTe) technologies, all of them in the development phase, with the intention of shaping PV energy’s evolution. The solar modules have been produced by JA Solar and First Solar, and a variety of solar trackers will be used, manufactured by STI Nordland and Soltec.

The innovation center, in which two of the three tracker zones have already been installed, will have a power generation facility with a total capacity of 492 kWp (180 kW rated) consisting of 1,280 modules in three series of trackers connected to nine inverters. These will be assisted by other equipment to measure and monitor parameters such as incident and reflected solar radiation, ambient temperature or the production temperature of each kind of module, among others.

Unlike conventional solar modules, which only have photovoltaic cells on one side, the double-sided modules have cells on both sides of the panel to capture reflected solar radiation and increase output per surface unit occupied.

In split-cell modules each cell is divided into two parts. This reduces energy losses and improves the durability of the panel.

Finally, the thin-film modules are made from semi-conductive materials as alternatives to conventional crystalline silicon –such as cadmium telluride- that reduce both manufacturing costs and their carbon footprint during their working life.

Advanced technologies

Advanced technologies in photovoltaic solar are one of the main strategic approaches that guide Acciona’s innovation activities in the field of clean energies. One of the most innovative projects to date is the hybridization of organic photovoltaic panels in a wind turbine tower to power a turbine in the Breña wind farm (Albacete, Spain).

El Romero Solar is one of the biggest photovoltaic plants owned and operated by Acciona, with a capacity of 246 MWp. Located in the Atacama Desert in Chile, an area with some of the highest levels of solar radiation in the world, it produces energy equivalent to the consumption of around 240,000 Chilean households. Part of its capacity will be used to supply Google’s data center in the country.

Sulzer Schmid, a Swiss company pioneering UAV technology for rotor blade inspections, and NNAISENSE, an artificial intelligence specialist, have partnered to develop an artificial intelligence engine to automatically detect rotor blade damages on wind turbine. This leapfrog technology is expected to bring the twin benefits of improving the productivity and consistency of blade inspection processes.

With this new development effort, the two partners are aiming to build the industry’s most powerful artificial intelligence engine able to recognize damages based on inspection image material. The initial version will be able to flag all areas of concern on any given damaged blade. Ensuing upgrades will add other capabilities such as the ability to establish damage categories and severity levels.

The autonomously flying drones of the 3DX™ Inspection Platform of Sulzer Schmid assure high-definition quality and consistent image acquisition time as well as 100% blade coverage while minimizing human errors and operational risks. The cutting-edge image assessment tools of the platform ensure detailed and efficient damage assessment. With the support of an AI-enabled inspection software, the review work of blade experts will be greatly facilitated. Instead of having to review the entire surface of the blades, they will simply need to focus on the pre-selected areas of concern. This technology progress will not only significantly boost the productivity of the reviewing teams but will also improve the quality of damage annotation processes.

Source: Sulzer Schmid

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The Nordex Group is further extending its product portfolio in the market segment of wind turbines with a nominal capacity of more than 5 MW. The N163/5.X wind turbine will be presented at the German Husum Wind Fair, which takes place from 10 – 13 September 2019.

Compared to the recently launched N149/5.X wind turbine, the N163/5.X shows its strengths particularly on projects with lower wind speeds. The nacelle, gearbox and all system components of the N163/5.X have been taken over from the N149/5.X. A new element is the single-piece rotor blade, with a length of nearly 80 m, based on the proven and tested glass fibre/carbon fibre differential construction concept of the N149, which Nordex has been using in serial production for its blades since 2011.

The rotor diameter has been increased by 14 m to a total of 163 m compared to that of the N149/5.X. This makes it one of the biggest rotors in the onshore segment. This larger rotor diameter results in a swept area of 20,867 m2 Compared to the N149/4.0-4.5, currently being produced in series, this means an additional yield of up to 20 percent for the new wind turbine.

The N163/5.X is designed for maximum flexibility and can be operated in different modes in the 5 MW range depending on site requirements and customer needs. This enables customers to individually configure the wind farm with regards to energy yield, turbine lifetime, rating and sound requirements, and thus adapt it ideally to the specific business model. The N163/5.X continues the successful approach of a flexible power range of the Delta4000 wind turbines N149/4.0-4.5 and N149/5.X.

The wind turbine will initially be offered with hub heights of between 118 and 164 m. The wind turbine options also include a cold climate version for operation in temperatures as low as -30°C. The start of the series production of the N163/5.X is scheduled for 2021.

Source: Nordex Group

WindEurope, Cefic (the European Chemical Industry Council) and EUCIA (the European Composites Industry Association) have created a cross-sector platform to advance novel approaches to the recycling of wind turbine blades.

In 2018 wind energy supplied 14% of the electricity in the EU with 130,000 wind turbines and this number will only grow in the coming decades. Wind turbines blades are made up of a composite material, which boosts the performance of wind energy by allowing lighter and longer blades.

In the next five years 12,000 wind turbines are expected to be decommissioned. Broadening the range of recycling options is critical for the industry’s development.

Wind energy is an increasingly important part of Europe’s energy mix. The first generation of wind turbines are now starting to come to the end of their operational life and be replaced by modern turbines. Recycling the old blades is a top priority, and teaming up with the chemical and composites industries will enable to do it the most effective way.

The chemical industry plays a decisive role in the transition to a circular economy by investing in the research and development of new materials, which make wind turbine blades more reliable, affordable and recyclable.

Learnings from wind turbine recycling will then be transferred to other markets to enhance the overall sustainability of composites.

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Nordex Group has presented the fourth wind turbine model in the Delta4000 series, the N155/4.5, at Windpower USA in Houston. The N155 utilizes the same proven mechanical architecture of the Delta4000 series but adds a longer glass fiber rotor and a different hub set-up to optimize performance for specific site conditions. The turbine has a rated capacity of 4.5 MW and a rotor diameter of 155 m.

This product is a logical extension of the Nordex Group’s product strategy to leverage common components while creating optimized derivatives to achieve the lowest cost of energy for specific markets. The standard technical platform of the Delta4000 series enables Nordex to continuously develop highly efficient solutions for a wide range of wind regimes and adapting the products to different, very particular market requirements.

The N155/4.5 is aimed at growth markets with medium wind conditions and without strict requirements on maximum noise levels or high levels of effective turbulence intensity. This could include locations around the globe but will fit optimally in much of the United States, Latin America, South Africa, and Southeast Asia.

The wind turbine will be initially launched with three tower configurations including a 108-m steel tower, 120-m concrete tower, and 164-m hybrid tower. Production of the N155/4.5 is due to start in late 2020.

Source: Nordex Group

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The Energy Division of Acciona has developed a pioneering solution at global level in the field of hybridization between wind and photovoltaic power. It consists of covering a wind turbine tower with flexible organic panels to produce energy for the internal electricity consumption of the turbine. The innovative project will allow the study of the performance of the organic panels -an emerging photovoltaic technology- and their application to improve wind turbine efficiency.

The system has been installed in one of the turbines of the Breña Wind Farm (Albacete, Spain), which ACCIONA owns and operates. The turbine is an AW77/1500 of Nordex-Acciona Windpower technology, mounted on an 80-metre-high steel tower (hub height).

Installed on the tower are 120 solar panels facing southeast-southwest to capture the maximum of the sun’s rays throughout the day. They are distributed at eight different heights, occupying around 50 metres of the tower’s surface area. The photovoltaic modules, with an overall capacity of 9.36 kWp, are of Heliatek technology (HeliaSol 308-5986 model). They are only 1 mm thick, and each one has a surface area of 5,986 x 308 mm.

In contrast to the conventional technology used in the manufacture of photovoltaic models based on silicon, these organic panels use carbon as raw material and are characterized by their structural flexibility, which makes them adaptable to very different surfaces. Other key features are lower maintenance costs, less energy consumption during manufacture, easier logistics and the complete recycling of the materials used, although their efficiency is still below that of silicon modules.

The hybridization project in Breña means the optimization of the use of space for renewable energy production and it will enable us to test the efficiency of organic photovoltaics, a technology that we believe has one of the best improvement curves in terms of technological efficiency. That is why we have decided to pilot it”, says Belén Linares, Energy Innovation Director in Acciona.

Optimizing generation

The immediate application of the Breña project is to produce part of the energy that the internal systems of the wind turbine need. When the turbine is running, some of the energy generated is used to power the auxiliary systems. In shutdown mode, certain systems need to continue functioning so they are fed from the grid, which means that the wind turbine is registering a net consumption of energy.

The new photovoltaic system with panels on the tower will be able to cover, completely or partially, the energy demand related to the operation of the wind turbine when there is solar radiation, or even -in a possible later phase of the project- when the sun is not shining. This would be done through a battery storage system, leading to an improvement in the net production sent to the grid.

The organic panels are connected to two inverters that convert DC into AC for later connection to the grid which supplies the electrical equipment of the wind turbine.

The entire system is monitored with a view to evaluating it under real conditions, both from the point of view of energy production and degradation of the solar modules. Conceptually, it is a very innovative design in relation to previous experiences in wind power-photovoltaic hybridization, based on panels installed on the ground.

The idea is part of a wide-ranging innovation project driven by Acciona to study a number of emerging photovoltaic technologies, with the aim of pioneering the adoption of more efficient solutions in each case and consolidating its leadership as a PV developer. The company currently has over 1,200 MWp in operation or under construction in different parts of the world.

Source: Acciona

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Following the launch of the EnVentus platform in January, including the V162-5.6 MW and V150-5.6 MW turbines, Vestas today introduced the V138-3.0 MW turbine at AWEA WINDPOWER in Houston, Texas. Based on the scalable EnVentus platform architecture, the V138-3.0 MW’s 138m rotor provides a large rotor-size-to-generator-rating ratio, strengthening Vestas’ portfolio of turbines through superior park level energy production, higher certainty in performance, and reduced levelised cost of energy.

The V138-3.0 MW is globally applicable but purposely designed to maximise performance under market specific constraint conditions. By combining the V138-3.0 MW turbine’s 138m rotor with an 83m tower, the new turbine offers the industry’s largest swept area under 152.4 m (500ft), a relevant height constraint in the United States. At the same time, the turbine’s leading sound power levels makes it highly suitable for low wind sites in sound sensitive markets such as France.

Chris Brown, President of Vestas’ sales and service division in the United States and Canada says: “The V138-3.0 MW underlines Vestas ability to continuously innovate and lead the industry in developing customisable and sustainable energy solutions that meet our customers’ needs. This turbine is a perfect match for the North American market where higher certainty in Annual Energy Production at park level will become increasingly important for our customers to secure project financing and ensure profitability in a post-PTC market”.

As wind energy continues to expand globally and increase its share of the energy mix, the energy market is transforming. EnVentus is designed to meet the challenges our customers are facing in this environment, including changing energy policy and grid requirements. Through increased standardisation of components while ensuring turbine optimisation, the EnVentus variants thus help efficiently ensure our customers’ competitiveness in a wide range of market conditions, including markets driven by auction and forward-selling.

Anders Vedel, Vestas Chief Technology Officer, says “With the introduction of the V138-3.0 MW, we take another step forward in versatility and scalability of functional systems, demonstrating modular product development’s huge potential and how it supports our vision to become the global leader in sustainable energy solutions. I’m proud that, by utilising many of the same components as the first two turbines, we can introduce the V138-3.0 MW to meet customer requirements while lowering the levelised cost of energy and optimising the value chain”.

With the introduction of the V138-3.0 MW, EnVentus now covers an unprecedented wide spectrum of turbine generator ratings and rotor sizes, underlining the scalability of EnVentus’ platform architecture. Prototype installation is expected by the second half of 2020, while serial production is scheduled for the first half of 2021.

Source: Vestas

Iberdrola has begun construction on the El Pradillo wind complex in Zaragoza, with an installed capacity of 23 MW. The project, developed in conjunction with Caja Rural de Navarra, represents an investment of 26 million euros and is expected to enter into service at the end of this year.
Located between the municipalities of Frescano, Borja and Agón in Zaragoza province, the wind farm comprises six 3.4-MW Siemens Gamesa G132 wind turbines and one 2.1-MW SG114 turbine.

 

The production generated by El Pradillo will provide clean energy to the equivalent of 10,500 homes/year and prevent the emission of 17,300 TCO2/year.

More investment to lead the energy transition in Spain

With El Pradillo, Iberdrola is strengthening its commitment to renewables in Aragon, where it operates more than 320 MW of wind and hydroelectric electricity production.

Their commitment is to lead the transition toward a fully decarbonised economy by promoting renewable energies and accelerating investment in Spain, where it intends to spend 8.000 M€ between 2018 and 2022.

Iberdrola is currently building new renewable projects (solar and wind) with a capacity of 700 MW and it has 2,500 MW under development and a portfolio in excess of 7,000 MW.

Source: Iberdrola

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The Nordex Group is extending its product portfolio with a multi-megawatt machine in the 5 MW class. After the N149/4.0-4.5 and the N133/4.8, the new N149/5.X is the third wind turbine type in the Delta4000 series. The N149/5.X is designed for moderate and light-wind areas and can also perform optimally at sites with complex requirements. Apart from the classic core markets in Europe, the target markets for the N149/5.X also cover global growth regions such as South Africa, Australia and South America.

The N149/5.X is designed for maximum flexibility and can be operated in different modes in the 5 MW range depending on site requirements and customer needs. This enables customers to individually configure the wind farm in terms of the output, capacity and lifetime of the turbine, as well as with regard to sound requirements, and thus adapt it ideally to the company’s respective business model. The N149/5.X is a logical progression based on the successful approach of a flexible power range in the N149/4.0-4.5.

Thanks to the proven technological basis of the Delta4000 product series we are in a position to continuously develop highly efficient solutions for different wind regimes and different geographical regions and to ensure short lead times for product launches. We have designed the N149/5.X with its maximum flexibility and efficiency to exactly meet the needs of our customers,” says José Luis Blanco, CEO Nordex Group.

A new and highly efficient gearbox is used and the electrical system of the Delta4000 series scaled up in order to achieve the high power output in the 5 MW range. The efficient electrical system with its double-fed asynchronous generator, which has proved itself in the field for more than two decades, and the partial converter have been retained. The N149/5.X also uses the N149/4.0-4.5 rotor blade, which further increases the modularity of the Delta4000 product series. The exterior dimensions of the nacelle remain unchanged so that proven logistical and installation processes can be used as in the past.

The wind turbine is offered with a wide range of sound power modes in order ensure than even the most demanding noise requirements can be met. For instance, the turbine can be operated with a low sound power level of 104.8dB(A) while still achieving a power output of 5.5 MW. The machine can also be run in higher power modes at sites where sound emission levels are not critical.

Different tower options are offered for the N149/5.X – up to a height of 164 metres, depending on the market. The wind turbine options also include a cold-climate version for operation at temperatures down to -30 °C as well as an anti-icing system for rotor blades.

The wind turbine is due to go into series production as of 2021.

At WindEurope Conference & Exhibition from 2 – 4 April 2019 in Bilbao, Spain, visitors will have the opportunity to obtain detailed information on the N149/5.X.

Source: Nordex Group

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GE Renewable Energy has announced that the prototype for its Cypress platform, the largest onshore wind turbine for GE in the field, has been successfully installed and is fully operational, producing power at a rated level of 5.3 MW in Wieringermeer, The Netherlands. Company officials hail the milestone as a key step in commercializing a unit able to both lower the cost of electricity and offer additional flexibility in terms of where wind turbines can be located.

The first turbine in the platform, the 4.8-158 turbine was introduced in September, 2017. The 5.3 MW turbine and Cypress Platform name were introduced in September, 2018.

The Cypress 5.3 MW prototype was installed in late 2018 and produced its first kilowatt in February 2019. GE Renewable Energy will continue to operate the prototype during the months to come in order to validate the performance of the Cypress platform. This testing will also support the process of obtaining the Type Certificate, a key step in commercializing the product.

The platform is offered with multiple ratings and varying hub heights. It will enable a lower cost of electricity by matching each wind turbine solution to specific site needs, which is critical as wind power increasingly competes on price with other sources of power generation.

The Cypress platform will be powered by a revolutionary two-piece blade design that makes it possible to use larger rotors and site the turbines in a wider variety of locations. The AEP improvements from the longer rotors help to drive down Levelized Cost of Electricity (LCOE), and the proprietary blade design allows these larger turbines to be installed in locations that were previously inaccessible.

Source: GE Renewable Energy

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