One of the largest wind turbine manufacturers in the world, Gamesa (Gamesa Corporación Tecnológica), has started assembling its prototype G132-5.0 MW turbine — which will be outfitted with one of the biggest onshore rotors in the world once completed at its research and development (R&D) facility in Alaiz/Navarre, Spain.
In the service of this aim, Gamesa has exchanged the wind turbine blades of the G128-5.0 MW — already in operation at the R&D facility in Alaiz over the last year — with the blades of the G132-5.0 MW. The target is for the wind turbine prototype to start producing electricity around the beginning of May.
A recent press release from Gamesa provides more:
This assembly job constitutes a logistical challenge for Gamesa: the blades of the G132-5.0 MW, each 64.5 metres in length, are the longest ever transported in Spain and were brought in a single piece from the factory in Aoiz, where they were made, to the R&D facility in Alaiz. The complexity of the transfer required the individual transportation of each blade.
Completion of the assembly work will kick-start the turbine validation and testing process with a view to obtaining type certification by the end of 2015, a prerequisite for industrialising and commercialising this model. To this end, in addition to the prototype’s three blades, the company has made a fourth blade for testing at CENER, Spain’s national renewable energy centre. The static tests have already been completed and the fatigue tests (vertical and horizontal movements) are underway; these tests will take 5 months. All of these tests will also help to certify the blade to be installed in the G132-5.0 MW offshore model.
To give you an idea of why Gamesa is willing to go to all this trouble — the prototype G132-5.0 MW generates ~3% more electricity than the G128-5.0 MW, and is capable of generating enough electricity to provide for the electricity needs of roughly 5000 households in Spain for 1 year. This comes via the use of a wind turbine with a rotor diameter of 132 meters, as well as a total height of 186 meters.
So, a truly massive wind turbine, in other words.
Image Credit: Gamesa
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