GOLD Vestas 900kW multi-rotor concept turbine
Multi-rotor turbines have fascinated especially German engineer-inventors for more than 85 years, and several attempts were made before and after the turn of this century, including for offshore applications.
The key difference between the modest-sized 900kW Vestas multi-rotor concept turbine and all earlier initiatives is that one of the world’s largest turbine suppliers is now behind it.
The installation, undergoing a one-year testing and validation period, could become a blueprint for larger-scale future products focused on specific markets.
Fresh thinking about future technology, challenging core scaling rules, using more smaller instead of fewer bigger components, risks and opportunities, plus transport and installation challenges in markets with less developed infrastructure, were all key project considerations.
The concept incorporates four pitch-controlled V29-225kW turbines, converted to variable speed operation. Specific features include two operating levels, each with an independent active yaw system.
Flexible rotor arms linkage with steel tensioning cables is dynamically far more complex but offers huge loads and mass reduction potential.
Ensuring safe operation under all conditions and effective control to minimise structural costs are among the main challenges. "As a technology leader we must be prepared to stand up and take a lead in shaping the wind industry agenda for tomorrow," said Vestas CTO Anders Vedel when introducing the the concept exclusively to Windpower Monthly.