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Turbines of the year -- The best wind turbine products of 2014

WORLDWIDE: In the third year of the Windpower Monthly Turbines of the Year awards, we highlight the ongoing technology advances and product developments of 2014, and award the products that are outstanding in innovation, expertise and truly fit for purpose.

The growth in the size and power of onshore turbines, together with the rapid expansion of the offshore sector, are reflected in Windpower Monthly's third turbine of the year awards. For 2014 we adjusted our qualifying categories to create two classes for onshore machinery (up to 2.9MW, and 3MW-plus) and a third specifically devoted to offshore turbines. We have retained unchanged further categories for drivetrains, rotor blades and technical innovations.

To be considered for entry in one of the three wind turbine awards, the models must have been available for commercial order in the last 12 months, and a prototype must be in operation if it is a brand new design. For the component category, a prototype should be in existence.

The shortlisted entries are selected for their technical prowess, and their ability to advance wind turbine technology and positively affect the wind energy market. But winning a Windpower Monthly product award is not simply a matter of having the most technologically advanced piece of hardware or the largest market share, though both help. Products were assessed for the quality of their design and manufacture, market impact and relevance, fitness for purpose, reliability record, grid connectivity, and installation and upkeep. The leading principle - the prism through which everything has to be viewed - remains the requirement to generate more energy at lower lifecycle cost. The winners are deemed to have set the highest standards in their class.

This hard-nosed criteria tends to reward well-established products that have been incrementally developed and improved over a number of years. And despite radical new designs being very rare in today's wind power industry, their potential impact is also weighted carefully.

See the winners below, and links to the full category listings:

KEY TO TABLES

BDFIG Brushless doubly-fed induction generator

CGFRE Carbon & glass-fibre reinforced epoxy

DD Direct drive

DFIG Doubly-fed induction generator

EESG Electrically excited synchronous generator

GFRE Glass-fibre reinforced epoxy

HH Hub height

HSG/LSG High-speed geared/Low-speed geared

IG Induction generator

MSG medium-speed geared

PMG permanent magnet generator

PCVS Pitch-controlled variable-speed

IEC class site ratings I, IIA, IIIB etc I-III is equivalent to high-low wind speed in descending order, A-C is turbulence intensity in descending order, S meets special conditions outside class requirements

ONSHORE TURBINES UP TO 2.9MW

The greater portion of onshore turbines fall into this category, making it the most hotly contested sector of the market

MEDAL WINNERS

GOLD Gamesa G114-2.0MW


ONSHORE TURBINES 3MW-PLUS

Fast-growing market sector as manufacturers concentrate their efforts on low wind solutions

MEDAL WINNERS

GOLD Nordex N131/3000


OFFSHORE TURBINES

The competition hots up as offshore development moves into deeper waters and more challenging weather conditions

MEDAL WINNERS

GOLD MHI Vestas V164-8.0MW


DRIVETRAINS

OEMs and specialist manufacturers focus development on weight reduction and improved reliability with latest drivetrain designs

MEDAL WINNER

GOLD Winergy HybridDrive with journal bearings and optional EESG


ROTOR BLADES

Bigger still stands for better in every turbine class, and an increasing number of blade designs surpass the 80-metre mark

MEDAL WINNER

GOLD Euros M-EU167 81.6-metre blade for Mitsubishi SeaAngel


INNOVATIONS

A glimpse into the technological future of the wind power industry, from offshore floaters to mix-and-match modular construction

MEDAL WINNER

GOLD Aerodyn SCD Nezzy 8.0MW


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