Siemens Gamesa has recently unveiled the world's largest single-rotor turbine – SG 14-222 DD. Featuring 108-meter long blades and 14 MW of capacity, the direct drive turbine can boost the annual energy output by 25%.
The certification of the 14-MW SG 14-222 DD’s prototype is scheduled to be completed in 2021 and set to be commercially available in 2024. The new model, featuring a 222-meter diameter rotor and a 39,000 m2 swept area that is equivalent to 5.5 standard football pitches, can save approximately 1.4 million tons of CO2 emissions over its 25-year life span compared to coal-fired power generation.
The Spanish company regained its first place as a leading wind turbine manufacturer with the launch of the 14 MW turbine, which surpasses GE’s Haliade-X 12MW launched in March 2018.
Wind InfoLink believes that Siemens Gamesa launched the 14 MW prototype ahead of schedule to maintain its market postition. In fact, the latest model’s maximum output can reach as high as 15 MW under specific operating conditions, and this is the capacity level the company originally planned to achieve.
The U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has released open-source designs of the International Energy Agency (IEA) 15MW reference offshore wind turbine this February. The model provides a tool for designing next generation wind turbines.
For developers, larger turbine means less foundations needed and thus more effective cost savings, as the construction of underwater foundation accounts for the majority amount of total offshore wind costs.
Wind InfoLink predicts that the capacity of single-rotor turbines will increase to 30 MW by 2040 as turbine technology is rapidly evolving. In addition, observing the market of installation vessels can help predict the trend for wind turbine size in recent years. As it requires high costs and takes two to three years to build an installation vessel that has a life span of up to 30 years, the development of installation vessels should align with that of offshore wind turbines in order to meet demand.
With wind turbine size going bigger, the manufacturing sites are expanding, too. Siemens Gamesa announced in May that it will expand the nacelle assembly facility in Taiwan to form a regional offshore wind nacelle industrial hub together with local suppliers. Aiming at the market opportunity in Asia Pacific, the Taichung-based nacelle facility is expected to supply Taiwan, Japan, South Korea upon establishment.