TÜV NORD and GE Renewable Energy announce wind turbines with a lifetime of 40 years

TÜV NORD issues first Design Evaluation Conformity Statement for forty years, twice the customary length. Approach positions GE Renewable Energy and TÜV NORD as industry pioneers. Certification cover GE Renewable Energy’s 2.7-116 wind turbine.

GE Renewable Energy and TÜV NORD today announced a milestone in the testing and certification of wind turbines today, the first design conformity statement to cover a 40-year period. TÜV NORD issued the statement for GE Renewable Energy’s 2.7-116 turbine in accordance with the IEC 61400-22 standard. It is the first time that GE Renewable Energy has sought or received such a certification.

The GE 2.7-116 onshore wind turbine from GE’s Onshore Wind business has a diameter of 116 meters, 56.9 meter long rotor blades and a hub height of 90 meters generates an output of 2.7 megawatts. It is primarily designed for areas with strong winds.

“Normally, we certify wind turbines for a period of 20 years,” explains Mike Wöbbeking, Executive Vice President Renewables at TÜV NORD and General Manager of TÜV NORD EnSys. “The design review for such a long period of time was a real milestone for us as well.”

Sheri Hickok, General Manager – Global Product Development, GE Onshore Wind, said, “We’re delighted to have been able to partner with TÜV NORD on this certification milestone. We believe it is significant for our customers because it will both help them lower LCOE and de-risk their wind farms, both key considerations at the industry grows and matures.”

In issuing the Design Evaluation Conformity Statement, TÜV NORD conducts a thorough evaluation of the design of the wind turbine. This evaluation process includes, for example, the calculation of the turbine loads and the verification of the component design (rotor blade, mechanical components and structures, tower and internals). For the increased service life, the components are subjected to additional loads in line with the extended service life. In addition, ageing and wear as well as potential faults resulting from them are taken into account.

The safety system and the manuals, the electrical system and the manufacturing processes are also evaluated. GE has developed an inspection and replacement concept that includes the safety-relevant components to ensure plant integrity over the entire life cycle, something that required a particularly interdisciplinary review by TÜV NORD.