Envision ties up for new-look offshore wind gearboxes with ZF

Chinese OEM and German gearbox maker angling to develop components for units bigger than 4.5MW marques

Chinese OEM Envision Energy and German gearbox maker ZF Wind Power have inked a strategic partnership deal to develop transmission systems for the next-generation offshore wind turbines.

No further details of the planned collaboration were made available by the companies.

“Operating under the principles of mutual development, integrity and shared interests, we believe that the combined strengths of both companies will create exciting new possibilities and opportunities while jointly promoting the development of offshore wind power,“ said ZF Wind Power chief Mitja Schulz.

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Envision Energy global VP Xu Gang said: “This strategic partnership will bring significant benefit to our customers in terms of advanced technology, robust quality and superior lifecycle cost advantages.”

Envision’s biggest offshore turbine is the 148-4.5MW, a nameplate outsized for the highly prospective Chinese offshore market by rivals including Ming Yang, Goldwind, Shanghai Electric and Dong Fang, which have 8-10MW units soon to be ready for market.

ZF, which has developed a modular, all-size ‘Shift’ platform for offshore turbines, reports having a current 50% global share of 3MW onshore gearboxes sales, over 60% of 6MW offshore gearboxes sakes, and also delivered the first 9.5MW offshore wind unit's drivetrain.

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Last year, the Technical University of Denmark awarded wind turbine test stands at its Østerild and Høvsøre sites to Siemens Gamesa and Envision, which has wider ambitions than turbine supply and sees itself as a key player in the energy transition with investments in digital and ‘internet of things’ technologies, and is a major supplier of energy management software to third-party plant operators.

In 2017, Envision forged an alliance with Microsoft for digital energy technologies, and in August 2018 made its biggest move yet into storage with an agreement to buy the lithium-ion battery business of Japanese automotive giant Nissan.

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