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Windtech - Gamesa and Iberdrola launch new monitoring system

Gamesa and Iberdrola have created a remote management system allowing them to potentially control any turbine around the world.

The WindCore and WindOne system allows project controllers to remotely analyse data in real time from projects.

Data gathered by the control system includes wind speed at each turbine, temperature of the machines and intensity. This data helps project owners predict operations and maintenance work.

Gamesa and Iberdrola are making the system available to all of their customers. It can be used on any make of turbine via a single interface removing the need for different software programmes.

Gamesa said it operates over 400 projects globally, from its control centre in Spain.

Iberdrola Engineering's head of remote control developemnts Javier Ontanon Ruiz said, "The versatility of WindCore and WindOne will pave the way for its implementation in any environment while respecting each customer's proprietary communications network infrastructure and management tools."

New ten-year life extension system

The remote management system coincides with DNV GL's certification of Gamesa's upgrade programme, which is intended to extend the life of its G47-660kW turbines to 30 years.

The certification body has confirmed that Gamesa's structural upgrades and monitoring features can extend the life of the turbines from the standard 20 years to 30 years.

Gamesa said it will now work on applying the life-extension programme to its 850kW and 2MW turbines and even to machines from other manufacturers maintained by Gamesa.

DNV GL said its certification was based on analysis of the design, specifications and applied calculations over the entire life of a G47-660kW turbine, based on its Guideline for Continued Operation of Wind Turbines 2009.

"The ability to extend the useful life of a turbine is a key step in maximising efficiency and reducing costs in the global wind energy market," said Andreas Schroeter, executive vice-president of the renewables certification division of DNV GL.

Gamesa said the extra ten years of operation would make the turbines more profitable over their lifetime.

Enercon recently launched a new 4MW turbine platform that it said will last for 30 years rather than the standard 20 years of most turbines. It is thought to be the first turbine platform specifically developed with this longer life.

Vertiwind floating turbine capacity increased

The rated capacity of the Vertiwind vertical-axis floating turbine will be 2.6MW instead of the 2MW previously announced.

The turbine is being being developed by French firms Nénuphar and EDF Energies Nouvelles (EDF EN).

The change in capacity is a result of the general optimisation of the design, said Charles Smadja, Nénuphar's CEO. "We realised that with the same floater we can have a higher-rated turbine," he explained.

The performance of the onshore prototype at Fos-sur-Mer "is exactly as calculated and even a bit better," Smadja added. All being well, an offshore prototype will be installed at the Mistral test site in the Mediterranean in 2016.

The consortium then plans a pilot farm of 13 turbines (34MW), dubbed Provence Grand Large, 17 kilometres offshore sometime after 2017. They hope to obtain the necessary permits by the end of this year.

Depending on the terms, the consortium may submit the project in response to the government's call for expressions of interest for floating pilot farms expected next June.

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