Gamesa is participating at the 2011 Offshore Wind Trade Fair in Liverpool (England), showcasing the progress made on its offshore strategy, specifically with respect to the technological design and development of the G11X-5.0 MW platform which will be equipped with a 128m rotor diameter and a modular and redundant design that will enable partial load operations while guaranteeing reliability and maximising energy production.
The Gamesa G128-5.0 MW offshore wind turbines, for which the first prototypes are scheduled for completion in 4Q12, leverages the proven wind power technology validated by Gamesa in recent years in its G10X-4.5 MW platform and the operating know-how and experience built up.
According to Javier Perea, Offshore Managing Director of Gamesa, "We have used the established and tested technology built into our most ambitious onshore platform to date, the G10X-4.5 MW, in the G11X-5.0 MW platform. In so doing, we have realised that we are well along the learning curve. Even so, the variable and extreme conditions to which offshore wind farms are exposed, impeding facility access on occasion, mean that we are working on designing our offshore turbines, such as the G128-5.0 MW, to minimise down time, reduce maintenance work and achieve competitive energy costs and optimal returns throughout the entire useful life of a given wind farm".
This proven Gamesa technology, designed and developed for the G10X-4.5 MW platform, includes the CompacTrain®, Gamesa MultiSmart ®, Gamesa FlexiFit® and Gamesa GridMate® technology:
CompacTrain ®: the drive train consists of a semi-integrated main shaft and a 2-stage gearbox with mid-speed range output. This integrated design makes the unit more compact, with fewer components. The mid-speed range output improves reliability by eliminating high-speed rotating mechanical components, minimising maintenance work.
Gamesa MultiSmart ®: the wind turbine control system uses the data gathered to regulate each blade individually, moderating vibration and reducing up to 30% of the load on some components. This system incorporates the latest technology based on optimising aerodynamics, control and efficiency all with a view to maximising energy output.
Gamesa FlexiFit®: the crane, coupled to the nacelle so that it does not require an additional external structure, makes offshore wind farm servicing more flexible and simplifies maintenance and assembly work, replacing the need for certain major parts. Gamesa FlexiFit® eliminates the need to use high-tonnage barge-mounted cranes for maintenance work: once attached to the nacelle, the crane can hoist and lower main nacelle modules (hub, gearbox, generator, transformer, heat exchanger, among others).
Gamesa GridMate®: redundant electrical system based on a permanent magnet synchronous generator and a full converter. The system comprises parallel modules which continue to function in the event of individual failure while also enabling partial capacity utilisation configurations. Gamesa GridMate® complies with the most demanding grid connection requirements.
The cementing systems and platforms developed by Gamesa and Newport News Shipbuilding, the leading US provider of offshore solutions, addresses the main market concerns: the need for cost-efficient civil engineering infrastructure (the biggest investment component in offshore developments), turbine reliability, minimal maintenance requirements and the race to minimise energy production costs.
Gamesa is already working on development of another family of offshore turbines, with capacity of 6-7 MW. Pre-series runs are slated for 2014, in time to meet the anticipated growth in demand medium and long term by coming to market with the next generation of higher-capacity offshore turbines.
Poised to play a leading role
Gamesa is ready to play a leading role in the offshore wind energy. In parallel to these technology developments, the company will make the UK its offshore wind power headquarters, investing over €150 million between now and 2014.
Gamesa has decided to establish its European offshore wind power technology base in Glasgow (Scotland) and is analysing potential locations for installation of its manufacturing, logistics and O&M operations across several UK ports (England and Scotland). The company’s global offshore wind power business will be headquartered in London.