This prototype by Mundra Windtech Limited (MWL) is taller than the world’s tallest statue, the Statue of Unity (182 meter), with blades bigger than the wingspan of a Boeing 747.
Size certainly matters, at least when you’re generating wind energy. The larger and more powerful a wind turbine, the more efficient it will be at producing renewable power. This prototype wind turbine by MWL is pushing the boundaries of what is possible. At 78 meter, its blades are bigger than the wingspan of a jumbo jet making it the longest in the country.
It is the biggest wind turbine in terms of power and has a rotor diameter of 160 meter. The hub height of the wind turbine generator is 120 meter, about the height of a 40-storey building.
Milind Kulkarni, COO, MWL, said, “The proto assembly was completed in a record of 19 days. It is installed, commissioned, and we shall soon go for a type certification now. This prototype has laid a foundation stone for us to go for another prototype which shall be even taller than the 140 meter hub height. Going forward, we shall manufacture our own blades, while we have already started the assembly of Nacelle, and Hub in our own upcoming facility in Mundra.”
Wind turbines have had a growth spurt over the last couple of years. Turbines of the capacity above 4 MW are typically associated with offshore installation – where the machines have gone as big as 14 MW. But an onshore turbine of 5.2 MW is a rarity and certainly not seen in India. This machine is a first and has been built with technology from W2E (Wind to Energy) of Germany. It will work at wind speeds as low as 3 metres per second (mps) and up to 20 mps, reaching its optimum power production at around 12 mps wind speeds.
In continuation to strengthen quality and validating new configurations and components to develop even larger and more efficient turbines, this wind turbine is both an example of and a reason for the success of wind power.
Conforming to IECRE 16400 standards, the turbine model will power approximately 4,000 homes. The capacity to produce more energy from a single turbine means fewer turbines need to be built at each wind farm. This means simplified operation and maintenance processes, increasing the accessibility and affordability of Renewables for both companies and end-users.
It is a great move as MWL is foraying to carry on business as manufacturers of wind turbine generators and its other auxiliaries in Mundra. It shall drive down logistical costs by enabling blade assembly on-site and reduce the costs for permitting equipment and road work required for transporting longer blades.
Dennis Schultz, plant head of Blade Production Unit at MWL, shares, “We have partnered with two European leaders in technology advancements WINDnovation for rotor blade designs and W2E. With research, design, and its manufacturing expertise, MWL has been successful in bringing the prototype wind turbine from concept to a tested and proven reality and has paved way for a clean and even green future.”
Only a couple of years ago, the maximum capacity for a single wind turbine in India was 2-3 MW. Now, just a few years later, this figure has doubled and this new MWL – 160-5.2 MW wind turbine in Mundra brings with it a revolutionary technology to Wind Energy in India.
This launch signifies the beginning of an important phase in technological innovations for the renewable energy sector in India.
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