Experience with the 2 MW model will provide the basis for a 3.5 MW or 4.5 MW machine for offshore use, and a prototype of one of these large machines is already planned for marketing by the end of 2003, says DeWind boss, Hugo Schippmann.
"We don't want to develop the larger machine alone. We want to create a development consortium with partners who are active in the electricity infrastructure sector and who have marine know-how," says Schippmann.
He adds that the large machines will be used to fulfil one-third of a 500 MW requirement, the first phase of an offshore project off the island of Helgoland planned by wind developer Winkra Energie (Windpower Monthly, February 2001). Although DeWind struck a joint supply deal for this project with Jacobs Energie in September 1999, the turbines will be supplied independently of Jacobs Energie. "Since then Jacobs has acquired [Husumer Schiffswerft] and the co-operation with DeWind is defunct," says Schippmann.
Blade development is given high priority. Blades for the 2 MW machine will be designed by DeWind and built by Polymarin in Holland, the company says. The blades for the DeWind 1 MW and the 1.25 MW turbine -- which is now entering series production -- are built by Abeking & Rasmussen of Lemwerder, Germany. "We are happy to have developed the blades for our 1.25 MW machine. The blade market is getting very tight, since the demise of Aerpac and we otherwise wouldn't have had a blade," says Schippmann.
DeWind expects to invest DEM 90 million in technology development, including in-house turbine assembly, over the next three years. Currently the company out-sources machine assembly. The figure is equivalent to about half of DeWind's turnover in the last year. In the fiscal year ending June 30, DeWind's turnover was DEM 200 million. The company is projecting DEM 290 million for next fiscal year, Schippmann says.