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United Kingdom

Samsung to test 7MW drive train at Narec

UK: Samsung will test the drivetrain of its next generation 7MW offshore wind turbine at the National Renewable Energy Centre's (Narec) new test rig in Northumberland, England, later this summer.

A similar test rig is being built for LORC at a site in Denmark
A similar test rig is being built for LORC at a site in Denmark

Samsung will be the first manufacturer to use the 15MW-rated turbine nacelle test facility, where the drive train will go through a six-month programme of performance testing under simulated offshore operating conditions.

There are few timings available for the development of the offshore turbine. The gearbox is being designed by David Brown Gear Systems in the UK. In February, the UK government handed the company a £1.2 million (EUR 1.4 million) grant to develop the component.

The turbine itself is set to be tested at the the Fife Energy Park in Scotland.

"We are delighted that Samsung has chosen to undertake performance and endurance testing in the controlled onshore laboratory at Narec as part of its design validation process," said Narec chief executive Andrew Mill.

"The project is a message of intent from Samsung and outlines the route to market other turbine manufacturers will progressively have to follow if they are to be considered to supply UK Round 3 sites."

A prototype of the Samsung S7.0-171 turbine will be tested later this year at the Fife Energy Park in Scotland. The unit is scheduled for commercial release in 2015.

Samsung already has an order in place for the turbine in its home market of South Korea. In October last year, it won an 84MW deal to build an offshore wind farm off an island near the country's south coast.

According to reports, the project will consist of 12 turbines and be located off the island of Jeju. It aims to bring the first turbines online in 2015.

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