GOLD Gamesa G58 850kW
A sub-megawatt turbine win in this category signals the continued importance of this size. Gamesa offers the G850 range for IEC classes IA to IIIB — it is one of the few European manufacturers offering this size for all IEC class sites. The product is suited for regions and markets with poor infrastructure and low finances.
The prototype G52 model, for class IEC 1A, largely based on Vestas' V52-850kW, was installed in 2001, but Gamesa has since developed and expanded the platform with the G58-850kW version for medium and low-speed IEC llA/lllB sites.
The 10,000 product range installation was passed in 2013. Gamesa envisages sales of up to 300 units a year for at least the next two years.
India has been an important market for the unit, especially in remote regions. But Gamesa is also aiming it at the UK, where there are favourable kWh rates for turbines rated up to 500kW on projects with installed capacities below 2MW.
A de-rated 500kW version is already commercially available for the UK and other markets.
More generally, Gamesa has aimed the 850kW platform at the globe's most demanding sites - remote locations with challenging transport and installation logistics, isolated grid situations, high altitudes and sites with high winds in dusty and corrosive environments.
SILVER GE 1.7-100
GE's 1.7-100 is a product optimisation of the 1.6-100 model, introduced in 2010. The low-wind 1.6MW turbine was a trendsetting product with a record low 204W/m2 specific power rating, compared with a more modest 217W/m2 for the 1.7-100.
The 1.7-100 upgrade optimises the electrical system and adds industrial internet capabilities. This helps manage wind's variability by providing short-term predictable power while communicating seamlessly with neighbouring turbines, service technicians and operators.
GE claims a 6% improvement in annual yield for the 1.7MW unit, although the capacity factor is slightly reduced from 54% to 53%. But the US firm deserves credit for showing that optimising for highest annual energy production and lowest possible cost of energy is what really counts. Large orders have already been taken for this model.
BRONZE Gamesa G114-2.0MW
Gamesa picks up two medals in the small turbine category, with third prize going to the Spanish company's most recent 2MW platform extension — an IEC class IIIA turbine with a 114-metre rotor diameter.
It offers a class-leading low of 196W/m2 focused at a substantial cut in energy costs to bring wind power within reach of markets that lack adequate financial support.
The G114's rotor blade is a particularly innovative component that builds on Gamesa's experience with the blades on its G97-2.0MW turbine to combine ease of manufacture with aerodynamic performance. The main changes for the G114 model were a switch to glass-fibre reinforced expoxy, and the introduction of a vacuum-infusion manufacturing process. The modular design has been an important product development driver.
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