Turbines of the year 2018: Onshore turbines up to 2.9MW

The high-volume sector of the wind-energy market, where competition over cost, specification, and ease of transport and installation is at its most intense.

Low wind… Envision is looking beyond the Chinese market with its EN141-2.5 turbine
Low wind… Envision is looking beyond the Chinese market with its EN141-2.5 turbine

MEDAL WINNERS

GOLD Envision EN141-2.5

The Chinese manufacturer installed the EN141-2.5 prototype in June 2018, and the order backlog stood at 1,090MW on 10 November.

The turbine has a specific power rating of 160W/m2 and is focused on (ultra) low-wind sites, also referred to as IEC IV.

A key characteristic is a cut-out wind speed at 20m/s with a re-cut-in at 18m/s, a control strategy that minimises stand-still during gusty conditions.

The 2MW pitch-controlled variable speed turbine platform is Envision’s most mature product range with an extensive installed base of 11.8GW.

The platform features a state-of-the-art drivetrain layout with common three-point gearbox support and DFIG in 50Hz and 60Hz configurations.

Three specifications are available for international markets: EN110-2.5, EN131-2.5 (introduced in 2017), and the new EN141-2.5.

Each is an evolution of existing products currently available in China. Envision’s 2MW product development strategy is "selective enhancements of key components while maintaining modular platform design".

This means, for instance, that the "standard" EN110-2.5 gearbox was "enhanced" for the EN131-2.5 with its enlarged rotor and input torque and further enhanced for the EN141-2.5.

Envision is China’s second largest OEM, with a growing market share and expanding vertical integration of production.

Main components at least partly made in-house include blades, generators, converters and pitch systems.

 

SILVER Vestas V120-2.2MW

The 2.2MW Vestas V120 (originally 2MW) is the latest platform extension tailored for low- and medium-wind, higher turbulence sites, particularly in North America.

The platform’s history dates back to the V80-2.0MW, launched in 2000, and has a global track record of more than 21,500 units.

All variants feature a classic non-integrated high-speed drivetrain layout with four-point gearbox support, a three-stage gearbox with one planetary stage, and DFIG.

Notable is the combination of increased performance with a minimum increase in mass.

Unchanged nacelle dimensions, and staying with a 70-tonne nacelle mass with the drivetrain mounted, enables standard road and rail transport.

 

BRONZE Goldwind GW131/2200

The GW 131/2200 forms part of a platform comprising eight model variants, four rotor sizes between 115 and 131 metres, and ratings of 2.0-2.3MW. The prototype became operational in November 2018.

Goldwind has orders for more than 3,100 GW131/2200 units, all in China. It is a direct-drive turbine with PMG, developed from the GW115/2000, and aimed at ultra low-wind IEC S sites. It boasts a specific power rating of 163W/m2.

Characteristic for all Goldwind turbines is a pitch system with a tooth-belt drive. The nacelle shape is similar to the 2.5MW series.

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