GOLD Vestas V110-2.0MW
The V110-2.0MW — announced in 2013 and brought to market in 2014 — is the latest model in Vestas' 2MW platform. This largely evolutionary variant aimed at low-wind sites has quickly become a highly competitive and successful product.
The platform dates back to 2000, when Vestas introduced the V80-2.0MW, which also marked a switch from semi-variable speed (OptiSlip) to variable-speed operation. This doubly-fed induction generator(DFIG)-based variable-speed operating technology was simultaneously introduced to the V52-850kW and V66-1.75MW models.
The V80 was itself an evolution of the semi-variable V66-1.65MW, and the original V63-1.5MW, built as a prototype only in 1996, but which was part of an ambitious EU development project involving four "next-generation" 1.5MW-class turbines.
The V80-2.0MW series suffered from serious technical issues in its early years. However, once these problems were resolved, the series grew into a mature, competitive and expanding product platform. There are now nearly 12,000 units in operation worldwide.
Technically, the 2MW Vestas models feature the Danish company's well-tried non-integrated high-speed drivetrain layout. Characteristics of this drive-system solution are a main shaft supported in two main bearing and attached to a three-stage gearbox, and a separate intermediate shaft to the discretely mounted generator.
SILVER GE 2.0-116
GE's new low-wind turbine introduced and available from 2015 offers a competitively low specific power rating of 189W/m2, and it is now the biggest-seller in the company's 2-2.4MW platform range.
The platform offers a wide and flexible choice in power rating and rotor diameter combinations. The pitch-controlled variable-speed 2.0-116 - and intermediate variants - feature a high-speed drivetrain with a three-stage gearbox and DFIG.
Remarkably, the essential design principles of this turbine are still based to a large degree on the 1.5MW Tacke turbine of 1996.
BRONZE Nordex N117/2400
This 2.4MW turbine set a new benchmark for low-wind conditions when it was introduced in 2011, with a commercial ramp-up the following year. Generally believed to be two years ahead of the competition on its launch, it remains the German company's best-selling model.
In technological terms, the N117/2400 builds upon the proven 2.5MW Gamma platform introduced in 2000 with the pitch-controlled variable-speed N80/2500 Alpha series. Rated power of 2.4MW and the 117-metre rotor together offer a specific power rating of 223W/m2. A particularly innovative feature is the slender, lightweight blade, incorporating carbon, and developed in-house. The NR58.5 blade weighs less than 11 tonnes.