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
The greater portion of onshore turbines fall into this category, making it the most hotly contested sector of the market
GOLD Gamesa G114-2.0MW
Fast-growing market sector as manufacturers concentrate their efforts on low wind solutions
GOLD Nordex N131/3000
The competition hots up as offshore development moves into deeper waters and more challenging weather conditions
GOLD MHI Vestas V164-8.0MW
OEMs and specialist manufacturers focus development on weight reduction and improved reliability with latest drivetrain designs
GOLD Winergy HybridDrive with journal bearings and optional EESG
Bigger still stands for better in every turbine class, and an increasing number of blade designs surpass the 80-metre mark
GOLD Euros M-EU167 81.6-metre blade for Mitsubishi SeaAngel
A glimpse into the technological future of the wind power industry, from offshore floaters to mix-and-match modular construction
GOLD Aerodyn SCD Nezzy 8.0MW