Turbines will need to be increasingly resilient

Wind turbine design will increasingly need to incorporate an ability to work in inhospitable environments and integrate technology such as condition monitoring systems, according to research by analyst Moog.

Clipper's Britannia turbine: bigger capacity means proportionately less maintenance
Clipper's Britannia turbine: bigger capacity means proportionately less maintenance

In its latest report ‘Wind farm requirements are changing' Moog says both onshore and offshore wind farms will increasingly be located in inhospitable areas with poor access. The cost of sending maintenance teams to these locations will place an even greater emphasis on turbine reliability.

Larger turbines are also likely to evolve out of these changes together with the increased use of operating monitoring systems. Corrosion proofing on offshore turbines will need to be improved. 

The move to larger turbines already appears to be well underway. Clipper Windpower is one of two companies developing a 10MW offshore turbine. Clipper Marine managing director David Still said the principle motivation behind the project was to build its 10MW Britannia turbine, which produced more electricity but was cheaper to run and maintain.

Onshore wind farms are also increasingly likely to be built in inhospitable regions. The reports cites China's decision to build two 10GW wind power ‘bases' in eastern and western Inner Mongolia, where temperatures reach -23c during winter.

Other growth areas will include the development of wind power output predictors.






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