Endiprev lands on offshore wind turbines
Endiprev is making its first steps into offshore wind turbines. Our team was chosen to supply technical support and commissioning service for Alstom's Haliade 150 Prototype, near Saint-Nazaire, France.
Alstom developed the 6 MW Haliade 150 offshore wind turbines in response to a call for tenders launched by the French government in July 2011. The goal is 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 off the Belgian coast, in autumn 2012.
The plan aims the pre-series production for 2013 with production in series due to start in 2014. The team will test the prototype on the Carnet site, located near Saint-Nazaire. Its geological characteristics are very similar to the environment in which the offshore wind turbines will eventually be installed. The 25-meter sub-structure (known as the jacket) was installed on pillars driven more than 30 meters into the ground on which the 75-meter high tower was then gradually mounted. The nacelle of the offshore wind turbines soars over the landscape 100 meters 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 enough energy to power 5,000 households.
Onshore tests on the offshore wind turbines
Onshore tests allow easier access to the turbine to carry out the numerous measurements and manipulations that the certification of the first unit requires. That is a procedure that necessitates the installation of a measurement tower close by. Since the analysis of the turbine’s power curve determines its capacity to produce electricity efficiently according to wind availability, that is central to this certification procedure.
These tests will also enable, with additional sensors, validation for various simulations (stress, temperature, life span, etc.) carried out during the Haliade 150’s research and development. The electrical equipment installed in the tower of the offshore wind turbine will undergo advanced validation tests. We will also test the generator to measure operating temperature, vibrations, current, and voltage.
Then, we will test the offshore wind turbine’s different mechanical components for vibrations, stresses, and reaction times. Lastly, this onshore test phase will analyze its global performance and piloting software parameters. Offshore testing will begin in autumn 2012, permitting testing of aspects of maintenance and connection under real operating conditions.
The scope of Endiprev’s work on the Haliade 150 Prototype project will involve all of the activities described above. This project is definitely an important milestone for our team. It will allow us to gain the necessary capabilities to start operating on offshore wind turbines.