Wind turbine with record-breaking rotors

Jul 30, 2012
The B75 blade is the world's largest fiberglass component cast in one piece. The manufacturing process posed several challenges for the project team. In particular, the mold had to consist of two parts so that it could be transported.

Siemens has produced the world's longest rotor blades for wind turbines. Measuring 75 meters in length, the blades are almost as big as the wingspan of an Airbus A380. Beginning this fall, the B75 rotor blades will be installed into a prototype six-megawatt offshore wind power system in Denmark's Østerild test station. As it moves, each rotor covers 18,600 square meters, which is the size of two and a half soccer fields. The tips of the blades move at up to 80 meters per second, or 290 kilometers per hour. The huge rotor was made possible by special technologies that enable Siemens to make extremely strong yet lightweight structures. 

To produce the B75 rotor blade, uses the patented IntegralBlade process, in which the entire blade is poured as a single piece made of glass fiber-reinforced epoxy resin and balsa wood. As a result, the blade has neither seams nor bonded joints and is extremely robust. The gigantic rotor, which measures 154 meters, has to withstand huge air masses, as it is hit by the energy of 200 tons of air per second when the wind blows at a speed of 10 meters per second. 

Thanks to another patented process, QuantumBlade, the rotor blade weighs 20 percent less than conventionally produced blades. As a result, the nacelles, towers, and foundations can be made lighter as well, which reduces the facility's cost. The weight reduction is achieved by using specially designed blade profiles that are also shaped in a way that delivers maximum rotor performance at a range of different wind speeds. 

Siemens has been manufacturing wind power plants for the past 30 years. The size and output of the associated technology has steadily grown during this time. Whereas the first generated 30 kilowatts and had five-meter-long , the latest turbines can produce six megawatts of power. The first two six-megawatt turbines from Siemens (equipped with standard 60-meter rotor blades) are now being installed and tested at the Gunfleet Sands wind farm off England's south coast. Over the next several years, the Danish energy supplier Dong plans to install 300 gearless Siemens wind turbines off the British coast. These turbines will be equipped with the new record-breaking rotor blades. Wind power plants are part of Siemens' Environmental Portfolio, with which the company generated about €30 billion in sales in business year 2011.

Explore further: Many tongues, one voice, one common ambition

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Computer model optimizes wind farm

Jul 25, 2011

A new software from Siemens will improve wind farms’ energy yields and extend their service life. When the wind causes the huge rotors to turn, it generates turbulence, which interferes with the operation ...

Extreme testing for rotor blades

Apr 01, 2011

Wind turbines are growing bigger and bigger – the diameter of their rotor blades could soon reach 180 meters. But that creates a need for larger test rigs capable of accommodating the blades for load ...

Noise research to combat 'wind turbine syndrome'

Jun 01, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- University of Adelaide acoustics researchers are investigating the causes of wind turbine noise with the aim of making them quieter and solving 'wind turbine syndrome'.

Researchers build a tougher, lighter wind turbine blade

Aug 30, 2011

Efforts to build larger wind turbines able to capture more energy from the air are stymied by the weight of blades. A Case Western Reserve University researcher has built a prototype blade that is substantially lighter and ...

Smart wind turbines can predict the wind

Jan 05, 2010

Risø DTU researchers have recently completed the world’s first successful test on a wind turbine with a laser-based anemometer built into the spinner in order to increase electricity generation.

Recommended for you

Many tongues, one voice, one common ambition

21 hours ago

There is much need to develop energy efficient solutions for residential buildings in Europe. The EU-funded project, MeeFS, due to be completed by the end of 2015, is developing an innovative multifunctional and energy efficient ...

Panasonic, Tesla to build big US battery plant

22 hours ago

(AP)—American electric car maker Tesla Motors Inc. is teaming up with Japanese electronics company Panasonic Corp. to build a battery manufacturing plant in the U.S. expected to create 6,500 jobs.

Simulation models optimize water power

23 hours ago

The Columbia River basin in the Pacific Northwest offers great potential for water power; hydroelectric power stations there generate over 20 000 megawatts already. Now a simulation model will help optimize the operation ...

Charging electric cars efficiently inductive

Jul 31, 2014

We already charge our toothbrushes and cellphones using contactless technology. Researchers have developed a particularly efficient and cost-effective method that means electric cars could soon follow suit.

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Sean_W
3 / 5 (2) Jul 30, 2012
Governments have virtually unlimited access to money and credit that is not theirs and they are free to let ideologies govern their decisions. How is the wind energy equipment industry doing in sales to companies with real budgets and investors to answer to?