The new V112–3.0 MW Offshore turbine will lower the cost of energy and increase customers’ confidence that their projects will be profitable.
More power, fewer breakdowns and quicker servicing are the three main reasons customers will want to buy the V112–3.0 MW Offshore, according to Kim Nørgaard of the Vestas Offshore Business Development department. “It’s all about lowering cost and risk,” he explains.
Even though the V112–3.0 MW has the same maximum rating as the V90–3.0 MW, its longer blades generate more power than its predecessor whenever the wind speed is below 12 m/s – which it is most of the time. In fact, in a year on an average offshore site the V112–3.0 MW Offshore harvests around 20 percent more energy than the V90–3.0 MW.The new turbine also needs less power to operate, thanks to its permanent magnet generator, full power converter and CoolerTop radiator, which does away with the need for large cooling fans.
Clever design, excellent engineering and thorough testing make the V112–3.0 MW a highly reliable turbine, Kim says, thus further bringing down the cost of energy and reducing the financial risks to customers.
The drive train draws on the tried-and-tested mainshaft design of the V80 series turbines. The generator and converter, while new to Vestas, use proven principles that will increase reliability as well as efficiency, Kim says.
Measures to reduce stresses on the drive train will also improve reliability. Compared to the onshore version of the V112, for instance, the offshore version operates at somewhat higher rotor speed, and hence lower torques in the mechanical drive train. And during grid faults, the new converter system absorbs excess power which otherwise could potentially create critical or harmful events in the turbine’s mechanical systems.
A dual-sourcing strategy for critical components and thorough testing are the final links in the reliability chain. “We have spent a huge amount of time on both design and testing, so we’re confident that we are launching a product that is highly reliable,” Kim says.
When the V112–3.0 MW does need maintenance, excellent ergonomic design means that Service Technicians will be able to work faster. The mainshaft layout allows easy access to critical components, and the designers have used CAD software to create “envelopes” of working space for both people and cranes. Vestas’ desire to be open also means that customers know exactly what to expect inside the nacelle.
The V112–3.0 MW Offshore will be more costly to transport and install, Kim admits, as handling costs will be negatively affected by the dimensions of this new turbine. “But with around 20 percent more power, higher reliability and cheaper servicing, customers will get cheaper power with less risk,” he says and points to concrete points that add to business case certainty.