Germany

Germany

Making megawatt progress

Fuhrländer expects to install its first three 1 MW turbines in Germany before the end of the year. The megawatt machine has been developed from the 800 kW Fuhrländer, of which five -- including two prototypes -- are now turning in the land of Hesse. Fuhrländer plans to have ten to twelve 1000 kW machines in the ground in 1998.

Southern German wind turbine manufacturer Fuhrländer expects to install its first three 1 MW turbines in Germany before the end of the year. The megawatt machine has been developed from the 800 kW Fuhrländer, of which five -- including two prototypes -- are now turning in the land of Hesse. "We plan to have ten to twelve 1000 kW machines in the ground in 1998," says Joachim Fuhrländer. "These will be at inland sites in Hesse, Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg."

Side by side testing of the two prototype 800 kW turbines is progressing well, the company reports. The two machines, installed in April at a site between the towns of Rennerod and Herborn on the border of the Rheinland Palatinate and Hesse, have blades from different companies: LM Glasfiber in Denmark and Dutch Aerpac. Comparative tests of performance is being carried out for one year.

"Our experience drawn from over 50 inland wind projects has flowed into the design," Fuhrländer says. The machine includes use of a water cooled generator with either a "turbo coupler" with 4% slip or a "soft" generator with greater slip "to guarantee the best possible grid compatibility and low flicker." Customer confidence in the design is so great, asserts Fuhrländer, that the company had five firm orders for the 800 kW machine before it had left the drawing board.

The company, based in Waigandshain, says this model has been its stepping stone into the megawatt class. The three 1 MW machines to be installed have 52.4 metre rotor diameters and 70 metre towers.

Fuhrländer's small company, with 30 staff, has invested DEM 3 million in developing four turbine types with the minimum of state aid over the last five years. All are designed for inland operation. In order to have a second leg of support, the company recently took over the firm Auriga, a wholesaler for solar collectors.

Meanwhile, Fuhrländer has opened a marketing office in Bombay, India. It expects to deliver the first five 250 kW machines to India in 1998. In another small venture, the company has an order for a 30 kW turbine for a village in southern Turkey. Closer to home, Fuhrländer already has a handful of 100 kW and 250 kW machines operating in Austria. These are owned by industrial companies which have chosen to cover most of their power needs with wind energy. "Supply of wind generated power to the public grid in Austria is unattractive due to low payments for renewables power by the utilities," the company says.

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