Paull plant to make B75 Quantums

The blades in the frame to be manufactured at the new UK facility at Paull, near Hull are the B75 Quantum design unwrapped in late 2012 by Siemens for its 6MW SWT-6.0-154 wind turbine.

The swept-shape 75-metre-long model, currently turning on prototype machines at SSE’s Hunterston, Scotland site and at Denmark’s national testing centre in Østerild, is aerolastically-tailored for “tremendous strength at a low weight” to resists deflections or structural deformation from turbulent wind loads.

Being able to couple the wind’s bending and twisting forces to soak up structural loads, the flyweight 25-tonne B75s can absorb shocks that would otherwise travel from blades to transmission system and down the turbine tower, shortening the working life of a turbine.

The Paull plant announced today as part of Siemens' £160m ($263m) investment in UK offshore wind manufacturing will be the first designed to produce the new blades.

To be fabricated using the company’s ­IntegralBlade process, which lays out each unit in a single process rather than gluing it ­together from spars and shells, Siemens says the glass fiber-reinforced epoxy resin and balsa wood blade would be 25-50% heavier if it were produced using traditional technology.

Weightier blades are subject to higher loads and must be wedded to beefier nacelles, ­towers and foundations, while the combination of intelligent design and low weight “has a ­correspondingly positive effect on the power-generation costs”.

Siemens has re-engineered the aerodynamic and structural ­design of the blades for the 154-metre­-diameter rotor, which has a swept area of 18,600 square meters, to feature a “lift-enhancing” tip.

Flying the B75 Quantum blades, one SWT-6.0-154 is calculated capable of churning out 23 million kWh a year from mean wind speeds of 8.5 metres per second – enough to supply 6,000 European households.

Thirty-five of the new turbines were recently chosen for Dong for a maiden commercial outing for its €1bn ($1.36bn) 210MW Westermost Rough wind farm in the UK North Sea, under a 300-machine framework deal with Siemens inked last year.