EnDiPrev is supplying technical support and commissioning service for Alstom’s Haliade 150 Prototype near Saint-Nazaire, France.
The 6 MW Haliade 150 wind turbine has been developed in response to a call for tenders launched by the French government in July 2011 that aims to install 3 GW of wind turbine power off French shores by 2015. In preparation for its certification, the first Haliade 150 will undergo a series of year-long tests on land at the Carnet site, before a second turbine is placed in the sea off the Belgian coast in autumn 2012. Pre-series production is planned for 2013 with production in series due to start in 2014.
The Carnet site, located near Saint-Nazaire on the shores of the estuary, was chosen for its geological characteristics that are very similar to the submarine environment in which the wind turbines will eventually be installed. The 25 metre sub-structure (known as the jacket) was installed on pillars driven more than 30 metres into the ground on which the 75 metre high tower was then gradually mounted. The nacelle soars over the landscape 100 metres above the ground. The wind turbine and its support structure have a total combined weight of 1,500 tons.
Each of these next generation offshore wind turbines will be able to supply the equivalent of the electricity consumption of 5,000 households.
Testing, testing and more testing
Onshore tests allow easier access to the turbine to carry out the numerous measurements and manipulations required for the certification of the first unit, a procedure which necessitates the installation of a measurement tower close by.
Analysis of the turbine’s power curve to determines its capacity to produce electricity efficiently according to wind availability, is central to this certification procedure. These tests will also enable, once additional sensors have been installed, validation for the various simulations (stress, temperature, life span …) carried out during the Haliade 150’s research and development.
The electrical equipment installed in the tower (converters, transformers, low-voltage electricity network, computer networks and calculators) will undergo advanced validation tests.
The generator will be subjected to tests which measure operating temperature, vibrations, current and voltage.
Then, the turbine’s different mechanical components will be tested for vibrations, stresses (notably for the blades) and reaction times.
Lastly, the turbine’s global performance and piloting software parameters will be analyzed during this onshore test phase.
Offshore testing will begin in autumn 2012, permitting testing of aspects of maintenance and connection under real operating conditions.