More than anything else technology creates our world. It creates our wealth, our economy, our very way of being. And, much like life itself, it is always evolving, as William Brian Arthur explains in his seminal book The Nature of Technology: What it Is and How it Evolves.

The perpetual iteration and evolution of offshore wind turbines is an apt illustration of this phenomenon. Over the years, wind turbine technology has shifted from traditional, double-fed induction generators (DFIG) to direct-drive (DD). And the evolution continued, with the introduction of hybrid drives that leverage the technological advantages of both systems.

Case in point: the MySE11-203, the world’s biggest hybrid drive wind turbine, and the latest milestone in the evolution of this particular piece of technology.

Engineered by China's MingYang Smart Energy Group, the MySE11-203 features the power and reliability of innovations developed by the aerospace industry. As a result, this new turbine is poised to contribute to a lower levelised cost of energy (LCOE) and robust growth of wind energy at large, helping power the world with an eye toward sustainability.

Packing quite the punch

The MySE11-203, designed IEC wind class 1B, features nameplate capacity of 11 MW and a 203-meter rotor diameter. Its 99-meter-long carbon-glass hybrid blades (MySE11-99A1) provide a swept area of 32,365 square meters, which is the equivalent of nearly five football fields.

This offshore giant is equipped to deliver 31% more annual energy production than its predecessor. Furthermore, just one MySE11-203 can save roughly 1.15 million tons of carbon dioxide compared to coal-fired power generation over a lifespan of 25 years.

Its super-compact design and hybrid drive train enables the MySE11-203 a light nacelle and optimal substructure at a lower price point. A prototype is planned for 2021 with commercial availability expected by 2022.

The MySE difference

Built with the most advanced technologies available, MingYang’s hybrid drive platform, MySE, delivers several distinct advantages.

For starters, the short and strong structure of MySE can reduce loads to the drivetrain of turbines, which have less fragile components. Its medium-speed gearbox is similar in structure to aero-engine gearboxs, making it extremely reliable.

Beyond that, the MySE platform’s air-tight design protects the nacelle from corrosion caused by salt spray offshore, with a lubrication system and high-precision 5µm filtration that prolongs the life of bearings and gears.

As the LCOE of offshore wind continues to decrease, turbine performance is being pushed to the limit. The medium-speed gearbox of the MySE platform reduces the high-speed stage, transmission loss, and failure rate of the whole wind generation system. Fewer pole pairs, coupled with the hybrid drivetrain, promote greater efficiency to the tune of 3% to 5%.

What’s more, with a super-compact drive train, the nacelles of the MySE product portfolio are smaller and lighter. This makes them relatively easy to transport and install.

A decade of driving wind turbine innovation

MingYang developed its first series of hybrid turbines, in collaboration with German designer aerodyn engineering GmbH, in 2010, and has worked closely with the likes of DNV GL, Fraunhofer and TNO.

In 2015, it launched MySE with three blades, a new platform further developed with the hybrid drive technology. The MySE platform combines technological innovation and incremental experience with proven technology and stable components..

In the first quarter of 2020, MingYang’s orders stood at 15.23GW, of which 92% were hybrid turbines. As such, MingYang remains confident that the MySE platform is uniquely suited to meet market needs.

When eight wind turbine manufacturers were invited to participate in a competition tied to CTG’s pilot project in Xinghua Bay, two MySE5.5-155 offshore wind turbines lead in average energy production and availability, achieving a new record equivalent full load hour of 4822h.

A glimpse at the future

Looking forward, MingYang aims to be the leading global player in offshore wind. The rapid rise of the European market prompted the recent establishment of a business and engineering centre in Hamburg, Germany.

What’s more, in an effort to contribute to the broader advancement of offshore wind, MingYang has joined several international wind organisations, such as the Ocean Renewable Energy Action Coalition, World Forum Ocean Wind, and Global Wind Energy Council.

Add it all up, and the MySE11-203 underscores MingYang’s commitment to drive continuous improvement of the offshore wind industry through innovation. By taking firm steps forward, the company is committed to realising its vision of Born from Nature, Motivated Infinitelywhile providing the world with affordable renewable energy.

To learn more about how MingYang is advancing sustainable energy technologies, visit their website.