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In the port of Rotterdam is a prototype for the wind turbines of the future - it has the name Haliade-X . The rotor blades occupy a diameter of two hundred and twenty meters - which corresponds to the length of two football pitches. The capacity is 12 MW.
During a perfect day in January 2020, the test plant produced 288 MW, thus supplying electricity to thirty thousand households in the region.
Building rotor blades that are over a hundred meters long each places enormous demands on the material's strength and flexibility. A combination of carbon fiber and fiberglass stands for this. (There is a limit to how far you can go, but it does not seem to have been reached yet ...)
The rotor blades and the control unit are of course equipped with a number of sensors and intelligent control units. Wind strength and direction, temperature, humidity, real-time electricity production are measured, in addition to wear and any errors that occur in the components - all to optimize the wind turbine's electricity production.
GE, General Electric, came into the game about wind power relatively late, but when they took the step, they did not save on gunpowder. A number of acquisitions of companies were required to catch up with the already established brands in the market. Among other things, there was a lack of knowledge about what is needed to build rotor blades in this dimension.
They added their long experience of large procurements that are related to traditional - with commitments for both maintenance and financial solutions. (We are not talking about small investments.)
GE Renewable Energy, which has now introduced itself to the market, has made established players such as Siemens Gamesa and Vestas Wind Systems roll up their sleeves further. (We are not talking about small companies - Vestas had sales of just over twelve billion Euros in 2019…) New, even more efficient wind turbines are underway, both from Siemens and Vesta.
Today, offshore wind power accounts for only five percent of all wind power produced in the world. Demand for renewable energy and the opportunity to take advantage of the stronger offshore winds means that this segment of the market is expected to increase dramatically in the future.
A couple of hundred of GE's giant turbines will be installed just outside Doggers Banks , with a total capacity of 3.6 GW. By 2026, it will be possible to supply electricity to the equivalent of four and a half million households in England.
Switching to renewable energy is no small project.
Make the future come sooner!