Test turbines getting taller and wider

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Towering tall at 91.5 metres, a 1 MW wind turbine from DeWind is the latest machine to be installed and commissioned at Germany's Grevenbroich wind test station. The machine, said to have the tallest steel tower of any wind turbine yet made, went into operation on May 11. It is the fourth turbine now running at the facility, which was inaugurated in February.

Other projects planned by Windtest Grevenbroich include the installation soon of a 1.5 MW Enercon turbine and a prototype 1.5 MW unit from Austrian company Windtec in early 2000. A Nordex prototype, of at least 2 MW, is also on the way. The manufacturer of an eighth turbine for the last available site has not yet been chosen.

Rotor size is increasing significantly on the machines being tested at this inland, low wind site. The Südwind 750 kW installed in January has a rotor diameter of 50 metres; the DeWind 1 MW spans 62 metres, while the Enercon and Windtec machines will each have rotor spans of 70 metres.

Windtest Grevenbroich was founded in late 1996 as a joint venture between the investment bank of North Rhine Westfalia, certification company Germanischer Lloyd, utility RWE Energie, the district of Neuss and the city development company of Grevenbroich, the Stadtentwicklungsgesellschaft.

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