Chinese race for credible 10MW turbine design

Sinovel confirms its intention to compete for gov't support

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Sinovel is prioritising the development of 10MW turbines for the offshore market, reconfirmed Tao Gang, senior vice-president, this week. The company will develop the turbines independently and will retain all relevant intellectual property rights.

China's ministry of science and technology (MST) has prioritised 10MW turbines in its plan for the 2011-15 period and there is an expectation that a prototype will be installed by the end of 2015.

According to Sun Honghang of MST, China's top three turbine manufacturers - Sinovel, Goldwind and Guodian United Power - are all participating in an effort to achieve breakthroughs in 10MW designs. MST has earmarked CHY16.3m ($2.6m) in subsidy for further develoment of promising designs.

Sinovel is working on 'doubly-fed' turbines, while Goldwind is focusing on a direct-drive permanent magnetic machine, and Guodian United Power is developing turbines with superconductor technologies, according to Qi Hesheng, secretary general of the wind power equipment branch of China Association of Agricultural Machinery Manufacturers.

MST will choose, at most, two of the three designs for further development, and will announce its decision next year.

According to the China Wind Energy Association, wind turbines installed in China last year had an average capacity of 1.6MW, lower than the global average. Sinovel and Guodian United Power produced 6MW offshore prototypes last year.

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