For the second year running, Gamesa is the JEC Innovation prize-winner in the wind power category, this year for the G128-4.5 MW turbine suite’s modular blade, the longest in the onshore segment, at 62.5 metres. Ion Arocena and Eneko Sanz, the Gamesa engineers who spearheaded the design and development of this piece of technological innovation, collected the prize in Paris.
Each year this prestigious prize, created in 1998, rewards the innovations pursued by companies all around the world, showcasing the latest developments in the composite materials field that are set to lead the way forward in a number of industries. "It is an honour for the entire team to have their work acknowledged by third parties, all the more so when the professionals recognising your efforts speak your same language, are experts in composites and therefore fully aware of the difficulties implicit in designing a modular blade", according to Ion Arocena.
"Innovation is the only way to make our processes more efficient and our products more competitive; it is therefore the only way to ensure Gamesa’s leadership of the sector. Innoblade is a crystal clear example of how technology can be turned into a competitive advantage, this time at the service of the G10X-4.5 MW platform", adds Eneko Sanz.
The G128-4.5 MW wind turbine stands out for its light weight despite its size, its competitiveness in Cost of Energy (CoE) terms, its ease of transport and assembly, on a par with a 2.0 MW turbine thanks to the features of its one-of-a-kind modular blade and other innovative solutions such as FlexiFit®, a crane attached to the nacelle that acts as an assembly and O&M tool.
The modular blade (Innoblade®) is divided into two parts that are assembled in the field whose performance specifications in terms of weight and aerodynamics are better than those of existing blades. The blade is equipped with various sub-systems which give the turbine new features, such as fibre optic sensors embedded into the laminates that enable the reduction of the loads transferred to the turbine, pre-load sensors in the bolts at the mid-level joinery to ensure that all the blades are properly mounted and a high-performance lightning conductor, adapted for the requirements dictated by the size and modular nature of the blade, and an illuminated beacon at the tip of the blade.
Certified technological innovations
Gamesa Innoblade®: Modular blade design with two sections and new aerodynamic profiles to minimise noise and maximise output;
Gamesa CompacTrain®: Drive train consisting of a semi-integrated main shaft and a 2-stage composite gearbox which rotates at high speed;
Gamesa GridMate®: A modular electrical system that enables partial capacity utilisation and isolates the loads deriving from voltage dips to the mechanical train ensuring compliance with the most stringent grid connection requirements on the market;
Gamesa FlexiFit®: A crane attached to the nacelle to facilitate assembly and servicing;
Gamesa ConcreTower®: A tower with pre-fabricated sections to facilitate transportation and assembly;
Gamesa MultiSmart®: A multi-variable control system that can reduce the loads borne by certain parts by up to 30%.
In 2011, the Gamesa G128-4.5 MW obtained Type Certification from an independent body, Germanischer Lloyd (GL), accrediting its technological prowess. Certification makes the wind turbine bankable, which in turn facilitates funding for wind farm plants equipped with this new WTG and reinforces the marketing pitch.