Hitachi 5MW set for Spanish test site

SPAIN: Japanese manufacturer Hitachi is sending its 5MW offshore wind turbine nacelle and drivetrain for testing at Spain's Wind Turbine Test Laboratory (LEA), run by the National Renewable Energy Centre (Cener) in Pamplona, according to several sources at an offshore floating wind power seminar in the city.

A prototype of Hitachi's downwind 5MW turbine is being installed in Fukushima, Japan

Hitachi and Cener delegates at the seminar declined to confirm the machine was in Spain.

A prototype of the downwind three-blade 5MW Hitachi offshore turbine, branded the "Hamakaze", is currently being installed at the Fukushima floating turbine pilot project in Japan.

While data for real-life conditions for the Hamakaze will be compiled at Fukushima, the LEA facility, inaugurated in 2010, puts drivetrains through their paces, applying the loads and strains received by machines during a lifetime of operation. 

The data received by the multitude of sensors is then used for design improvements and to streamline operation and maintenance.

At the Pamplona seminar, Takeshi Ishihara, head of the Japanese Wind Energy Association (JWEA), hailed the LEA as "highly sophisticated and impressive", praising both Cener and Spanish companies for their commitment to floating offshore technology.

The seminar was jointly organised by Cener and Japan’s ClassNK, a global certification society, and was announced as a "unique opportunity to learn from Japan’s experts for floating offshore."