Germany's Aerodyn has lifted the curtain on its ground-breaking, two-bladed 8MW offshore wind turbine, with Chinese partner Ming Yang now scouting for prototype installation sites in the Taiwan Straits and the South China Sea.
The typhoon-class 8.0-168 machine, a 168-metre-rotor down-wind design featuring pitch-controlled blades and a medium-speed drive train with pioneering electrically-excited synchronous generator, builds on the Hamburg-based company's 3MW and 6MW designs.
"The old arguments agains two-bladed turbines – noise levels and visual impact – fall away particularly offshore," Aerodyn president Sönke Siegfriedsen tells Recharge.
"And there are many advantages: you can assemble the whole turbine including the blades in a harbour, shuttle it out to site by barge and mount it on the tower – the installation is much quicker."
"Compare the total weight and energy yield of three-bladed [3MW] turbine and our two-bladed one and they are much the same."
The 8.0-168 will fly 82-metre-long carbon-capped glassfiber blades powering a 2.5-metre-long, 3.5-metre-diameter SCD (super compact drive) transmission system, designed in-house at Aerodyn.
"Doing everything in-house means we have a real insight into the detailed design of all components," says Siegfriedsen."And you can avoid the mistakes that can happen during production at companies supplying your technology.
"This is particularly important for offshore turbines [where reliability is paramount]," he adds.
The 6MW prototype, which is in the final stages of assembly at a shipyard in Nantong on the Yangtze River, is slated to be erected in March on a six-legged jacket in 5-6 metres of water off China.