Turbines of the year: Onshore turbines up to 2.9MW

WORLDWIDE: Still the most fiercely contested and volume end of the market, especially in China and the US.

Prototype… Vestas V116-2.1MW at the Technical University of Denmark’s test site in Høvsøre
Prototype… Vestas V116-2.1MW at the Technical University of Denmark’s test site in Høvsøre

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Vestas V116-2.1MW

The recently installed 2MW V116 prototype is Vestas' latest platform extension for medium-wind sites. A direct successor to the V110-2.0MW, it is again focused at North American wind conditions. In December 2017, Vestas announced a power mode upgrade, and a redesignation to V116-2.1MW.

The platform history dates back to 2000 with the V80, and now boasts a cumulative track record of more than 19,500 units across six continents. All 2MW variants feature Vestas' familiar non-integrated high-speed drivetrain layout, characterised by a main shaft supported in two main bearings, linked to a three-stage gearbox with one planetary change, and use of DFIG.

Notable is the combination of increased performance with minimum weight gain. The unchanged nacelle dimensions, and staying within the 70-tonne maximum nacelle mass with drivetrain mounted, enables standard road and rail transportation in the US, its main market. Also clever is the use of a structural shell blade design with a single vertical web, allowing an extended swept area while keeping the root diameter unchanged and with only a minimal weight increase.

Like the V110-2.0MW, the V116-2.1MW will be manufactured at Vestas' Colorado factories. First deliveries are expected in Q2 2018.

2 Siemens Gamesa G114-2.0MW

The low and medium-wind G114-2.0MW features a large rotor diameter for its class, to provide a favourable specific power rating of 196W/m2. The turbine forms part of SGRE's 2.0-2.5MW platform and is in high demand in markets that include India, China and Brazil, as well as the US and Europe.

The G114-2.0MW builds on the G97-2.0MW's specification, including a non-integrated drivetrain, a main shaft supported by two bearings and DFIG. The configuration aims at driving down LCOE, particularly in wind markets lacking adequate financial support systems.

The 56-metre rotor blade is characterised by a design focus on ease of manufacture and aerodynamic performance. It does not contain carbon.

3 Goldwind GW115/2.0MW

Goldwind's low-wind turbine offers a low specific power rating of 193W/m2. This expansion and evolution of the original 1.5MW Vensys/Goldwind platform retains all the key characteristics that made that model such a success. Main technology features include a passive cooled outer-rotor PMG, a main pin with two rotor bearings and an innovative toothed-belt pitch drive.

By Q3 2017, more than 1.3GW of GW115/2.0MW turbines had been installed in China, with another 1.8GW in orders. A prototype of a GW131/2.3MW was installed in China in November 2017, followed by a G126/2.2MW shortly afterwards.

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