Electricity giant GE has announced plans for its new offshore wind turbine, which promises to be the world’s largest and most powerful.
Standing 260 metres tall, the Haliade-X will be taller than almost every building in the United Kingdom. Only The Shard in London is reaches higher at 310 metres. Its 107-metre blades accommodate a swept area of 3,800 square metres.
Each turbine will have a rated capacity of 12MW, and if deployed in a typical German North Sea location, GE claims it would produce 67 GWh of electricity annually – enough to power up to 16,000 homes.
In addition to its considerable size, the new turbine also boasts a 63% capacity factor, which is substantially higher than the current industry standard. This represents how much power is generated over a period of time compared to the maximum that could have been generated at full power. A larger capacity factor translates into more power, which in turn means more revenue for operators using the new turbine.
GE claims the Haliade-X’s unique design makes it less vulnerable to fluctuations in wind speed, enabling it to generate more power even at lower wind speeds and enhancing the predictability of energy generation.
While offshore windfarms brings maintenance challenges, some of which are mitigated by advanced lubricants like those available through Mobil UK distributors, one of the benefits is the ability to build huge turbines like the Haliade-X without disturbing those living near land-based wind farms. Offshore windfarms also often benefit from higher, more consistent wind speeds.