Giants in the forest

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German-Danish company Nordex has installed the first two N80 2.5 MW wind turbines to come off its commercial production line for megawatt machines. The turbines have gone up in Germany at the Mahlberg wind station near Freiburg in the inland state of Baden-Württemberg.

"Installation was a challenge," admits the company, a subsidiary of Borsig Energy. The N80 weighs a total 330 tonnes and the nacelle and hub alone 110 tonnes. A prototype N80 has been tested for a year at the Grevenbroich wind test field in North Rhine Westphalia.

A sharp incline to the 500 metre-high site in the Black Forest meant that machine house components had to be transported individually and assembled on site. The blades were comparatively light at 8.6 tonnes each, but their 40 metre length required dexterity from the crane operator to get them lifted from the road and swung vertically onto the forest track.

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