A relative minnow in the world of turbine manufacture, Germany's Fuhrländer has launched a new 2.5 MW turbine family, with rotor diameters ranging from 90 to 100 metres and a hub height of up to 160 metres. The company says its new drive train concept reduces both weight and noise. "A new type of large, anti-slip, hardened rotor bearing is located between the rotor hub and the machine-house structure. Lateral and transverse forces from the rotor no longer stress the gear bearing, but rather are diverted directly via the specially strengthened machine-house structure to the tower. This unique concept has a positive effect on the life of the gearbox," says Fuhrländer. A prototype of the 2.5 MW was being installed last month in Germany near Cottbus in Brandenburg on a 160 metre lattice tower. It has been sold to an unnamed investment company. A second prototype is being made and the company hopes to start series production in the second half of 2006. The model will be equipped to use an on-board crane and lift system for use during installation and to replace major components should it be necessary, says the company. The crane and lift system are not permanently installed on the turbine so the costs of the facility are minimal, says Fuhrländer. The company is based in Waigandshain in southern Germany where the production capacity of its works is 100, 1 MW machines a year.