LM Wind Power has produced the world’s largest wind-turbine blade at its manufacturing operation in Cherbourg, France. The 107-meter long part is one of three that will be produced as part of a GE Renewable Energy Haliade-X 12-MW offshore turbine, the first of which will be built this summer near Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
The blade is comprised of multiple thin layers of glass-and-carbon fibers with wood, fused together with resin.
Haliade-X is an offshore turbine design, of which GE Renewable Energy and its partner Future Wind are building a prototype on land, near the North Sea where engineers will have access to the operation under typical operating conditions during a five-year testing period. The prototype will be 260 meters tall from base to blade tips. Its rotor will cover a 220-m diameter.
The prototype is part of the $400-million investment to develop the Haliade-X, which GE Renewable Energy intends to reduce offshore wind’s cost of energy and make it more competitive.
The Haliade-X is said to the world’s largest and most powerful offshore wind turbine, combining a large rotor and longer blades for greater sensitivity to wind-speed variations in order to capture more Annual Energy Production (AEP) than any other offshore wind-turbine even at low wind conditions. Rated at 12 MW, GE renewables also projects that the Haliade-X will generate 67 GWh annually: “A 750-MW Haliade-X 12-MW windfarm based on an estimated AEP, could produce enough power for up to 1 million households,” according to GE Renewable Energy.
Earlier this year GE Renewable Energy started up a prototype of its Cypress series, a 5.3-MW design for onshore wind farms, also in The Netherlands.