In the world of wind turbines, size and shape matters. The longer its turbine blades, the more energy a turbine can capture from the wind and the greater its electricity generating capacity. In addition to size, the efficiency of a wind turbine blade is determined by the precision of its airfoil profile, a shape similar to that of an aeroplane wing.
Given the potential difficulties related to the critical measurement of the world’s largest blades, used on the record breaking V164-8.0 MW turbines, MHI Vestas Offshore Wind selected FARO laser trackers as its preferred large-volume, high-precision measuring technology.
Despite the impressive scale (80m – almost as long as a football field) of the V164-8.0 MW turbines blades, the advanced FARO instruments are able to quickly and accurately measure aerodynamic profiles and a wide range of other critical blade features.
MHI Vestas Offshore Wind is a joint venture between Vestas Wind Systems A/S and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI). The company’s sole focus is to design, manufacture, install and service wind turbines for the offshore wind industry. The company aims to drive down the cost of energy from offshore wind parks through reducing the costs and increasing efficiency.
MHI Vestas’ V164-8.0 MW prototype turbine broke the record for power production by a wind turbine in a 24 hour period from 6-7 October 2014. The turbine produced 192,000 kW/h during steady wind conditions. The power produced by the turbine in one day was enough to supply the energy needs of approximately 13,500 households.
MHI Vestas Offshore Wind’s CEO Jens Tommerup said the record demonstrates the full capacity of the V164-8.0 MW. “This power production record further underlines both the quality of the technology as well as the skills of the team involved who have been working hard to ensure the turbine is performing according to our testing schedule.”
Encouraged by the outstanding efficiency of the world’s most powerful wind turbines, MHI Vestas Offshore Wind has invested in upgrading the production hall at the Vestas Blades Technology Centre, to enable serial production of the V164-8.0 MW. The impressive Isle of Wight, UK facility was specifically designed to develop large blades for the latest wind turbines. The site has two halls, each 170m long and 50m wide, one for testing and verification, the other for blade production.