Enercon installs debut EP3 E2 prototype

German manufacturer Enercon has battled the Covid-19 upheaval to install the prototype E-138 EP3 E2 turbine at a site in northern Germany.

The 4.2MW E-138 prototype is installed in northern Germany (pic: Enercon)

The new low-wind turbine upgrades the E1 turbine from 3.5MW to 4.2MW, resulting in an extra 1.5GWh of generation a year, Enercon said.

Enercon also said the new model's rotor head is produced and tested at the factory so it can be installed as one unit at the project site. "The rotor head can be hoisted by the crane without requiring any turning operations or complex additional equipment," the manufacturer said.

"Furthermore, a new installation method for the rotor blades also saves time at the construction site. The new method does not require a ballast arm, and the rotor head of the WEC is turned using just the installation crane," Enercon added.

The turbine-maker installed the 3.5MW prototype at a test site in the Netherlands in March 2019.

"[The] enhanced model version focuses on specific markets like Germany, and favourable sites" Enercon project manager Christian zur Mühlen told Windpower Monthly at the test site for the first prototype.

"Under these conditions, it offers up to 10% higher yield levels than the 3.5MW E-138. Our engineers have also developed a faster optimised single-blade installation method for E2 models, and site-specific hub heights of up to 149 metres."