Vestas scales up to 4.2MW

DENMARK: Vestas has upgraded its 3MW onshore platform to 4MW with the introduction of three new models.

Vestas V150-4.0/4.2MW on 166-metre tower will have a tip height of 241 metres

Nominal rating is 4.0MW, but all will be available with a 4.2MW power mode option. Three rotor diameters are offered — 117, 136 and 150 metres.

The turbines are another evolution of the 3MW series launched in 2010.

Vestas's chief technology officer Anders Vedal said with the increase to over 4MW, and a growth in rotor diameters in the intervening seven years, the annual energy production has improved by 50%. Vestas claims the V150 will be the highest yielding low-wind onshore turbine.

Lessons learned

Vedel explained that continous development of the turbines, right down to blade design and materials used, had helped increase turbine rated output and rotor size.

"Whenever we become more clever and learn things — and that could be from a V136 or the multi-rotor concept — we take that into our models, which allows us to take things to the next level," Vedel told Windpower Monthly.

In April 2016, Vestas unveiled its four-rotor concept comprising four V27 225kW turbines as a research project.

Vedel said the turbine was still testing at the site in Roskilde but that lessons had already been learned from it, notably in control systems, that were being applied to this evolution of the standard single rotor platform.

"There are things within control systems and our ability to control loads," Vedel said.

The V150-4.0/4.2MW turbine has the largest rotor diameter in its class, just four metres shorter than Siemens’ 7-8MW offshore turbine.

Combined with Vestas’ increased 166-metre large diameter steel tower, it has a tip height of 241 metres, taking it beyond Nordex's 230-metre tall prototype installed last year, which claimed to be the tallest onshore turbine ever installed.

Vestas also released a concept design for cable-supported towers in March. Specific hub heights for the tower had not been released and Vedel said there still was no date for the commercial release of the design, but he did not rule out their use on the tall turbines: "Why not?" he said. 

Target markets

The V117-4.0/4.2MW takes the Vestas platform into typhoon territory for the first time, and is designed to withstand wind gusts of up to 80m/s.

Vedel said the turbine could be used in strong wind areas, such as the Caribbean, the Japanese, Chinese and Vietnamese coastal areas, and areas in northern Europe, including the UK that also has height restrictions. 

The V136-4.0/4.2MW model is aimed at medium-wind conditions.

Deliveries for all three variants are scheduled to start in Q2 2019.

"With today's announcement, Vestas unfolds even more of the platform's potential, ensuring that we offer market-leading wind energy solutions," said Vedel.

Offshore deployment?

Vestas said the V112-3.3MW model, which was also offered by the offshore joint venture MHI Vestas, has been discontinued.

Vedel said the JV might look at the new suite of turbines in order to offer a lower-rated option for offshore sites. 

"That is their decision, but it is likely they are looking towards us and seeing what we can support them with," Vedel said, adding they are feasible for offshore deployment.