The V112 3.0-MW offshore turbine is born to deliver high reliability. –The prototype is now being put to the last test in Høvsøre, Denmark.
On a rather grey morning, the car pulls into the driveway of the turbine test park. Standing under the turbine, the three grand wings turn around, around and around. A man with a greyish beard shouts “The monitor says it is producing three megawatts and it is blowing 12 meters per second.”
The Vestas turbine, which also carries the alias name as the most reliable turbine, is spinning its rotor at the test facilities at the Danish West Coast. It is here, the turbine faces the final test of all tests when it is installed, commissioned and energized. It is here the many test in the R&D center face their final destiny – does the turbine fulfill the specifications and the promise to the market? For the Project Manager and Engineer with the greyish beard, Eskil Fjord Pedersen, it is an exciting day where he gets to explain the engineering of the turbine and its match to suit the challenging offshore environment.
“The rotor speed is adapted to offshore conditions where the wind is stronger and with an optimized rotor size the V112 is able to harvest more wind,“ he says.
However, the observant viewer will notice that Vestas is testing offshore turbines on land; a climate and an environment, which cannot reflect the harsh conditions at sea.
“The offshore climate is harder,” Eskil explains as the question is put and continues: “But one does not need to test at sea, since the calibration of the power curve allows creating tests based on an acknowledged methodology within the offshore engineering industry. Besides, you will note that we are close to the sea, so we and the other companies at this national wind test park have a realistic environment, which does in fact reflect the conditions at sea. We have the wind and the salt at our disposal, so this is a highly acknowledged way of testing prototypes for offshore climates. However, we also expect to verify it at sea,” says Eskil, a man with an experience dating back to the early development the V90 3.0 MW.
With this broad background, Eskil is also able to challenge the design or as he puts it:
“We have learned much from the V90 and the subsequent mark upgrades. Today, offshore wind park deliver a highly competitive availability. Needles it is to say that the learning is used to create the V112, so we now have a turbine - designed from a holistic view point. For instance, we are able to install the V112 in 5 lifts based on our experience with the Thanet Offshore Wind Farm – The world’s biggest operational wind offshore power plant. You may not be able to relate to this, but it saves time and improves the customer’s business case significantly.”
Talking with Eskil, one cannot wonder how this engineering construction was actually created. Eskil explains:
“What you see here is the result of a global organization with some of the world’s best engineers, the most experienced offshore technicians, the most efficient production units and also some of the world’s most ambitious customers. In other words, this is the craftsmanship of a united team spirit, which had a dream of creating a turbine which would boost the customer’s business case and this is exactly what you see behind me,” says Eskil as he now looks forward to the next phase where the best tested offshore turbine will be revealed to the public at sea.