Next stage for V164 nacelle

The nacelle for Vestas’ flagship 8MW V164 offshore turbine is en route to the Danish national test centre in Østerlid as the company begins to assemble its pre-commercial prototype.

The nacelle, which is 20 metres long, eight metres wide and eight metres high, and weighs 390 tonnes with its rotor hub, will join the five steel sections of the turbine's 133-metre-tall tower, which arrived late last month.

The machine’s 80-metre blades are scheduled to arrive in the next two weeks, a Vestas spokesman confirms to Recharge. Installation of the turbine is slated to be completed in the first quarter of next year.

"The complete nacelle and all of its components have now successfully passed the extensive testing regime according to the plan to date,” says chief technology officer Anders Vedel. “This means we can now take another step closer to bringing the V164-8.0 MW to our customers.”

The V164, launched in 2011 as a 7MW “new ruler of the sea”, is purpose-built for 25 years’ service in hostile offshore environments and extreme temperatures, with its rotor blades sweeping an area of more than 21,000 square metres.

At Østerild, further tests will be conducted to double-check reliability and performance. The 8MW drivetrain has already been put through exhaustive trials on a purpose-built 20MW test bench at Vestas’ Aarhus facility, with expectations that a duplicate nacelle of the one heading for Østerild will be first onto the 10MW test rig being built at the Lindø Offshore Renewables Centre for tandem testing next year.

The prototype nacelle was built at the Lindø Industrial Park, a site chosen “because of the skills, knowledge and experience built up in R&D [in [Denmark] by Vestas and others”, notes Vedel.

Vestas and fellow Danish developer Dong Energy have an “enhanced” co-operation agreement to deploy the machine at Østerild as part of plans to accelerate roll-out.

The V164-8.0 is in line to be the world’s most powerful turbine, with one machine capable of supplying electricity for 7,500 European households.

Depending on orders, serial production is foreseen to start in 2015.