Siemens Wind Power has installed the latest version of its offshore direct drive wind turbine at the national test centre in Østerild, Denmark. Installed on a steel tower at a hub height of 120 m and fitted with the proven 154 m rotor it is rated at 8 MW and was certified as such by DNV GL in January. The same run confirmed all relevant safety features for test operation. The prototype will be used for both mechanical and electrical testing, with issue of the final type certificate expected for 2018 and serial production in 2019.
With the full commissioning of the prototype, Siemens will enter the final development phase for the new turbine that allows for up to 10% higher annual energy production, under offshore wind conditions, than the 7 MW version on which it is based. Since the higher rating will be achieved with only a few component upgrades, including a new cooling concept and a new control system, the 8 MW turbine will benefit from the established supply chain and offshore direct drive technology components.

"The installation of the SWT-8.0-154 prototype in Østerild is an important milestone in the success story of our offshore direct drive wind turbines," said Michael Hannibal, CEO Offshore at Siemens Wind Power. "Evolution based on our platform strategy demonstrates that innovation to lower the cost of wind energy can work without compromising the proven reliability of a technically mature product."

Offshore direct drive is the most recent Siemens wind turbine platform but in six years it has built up 100 years of combined operation, producing 2.5 TWh of electricity, starting with the first SWT-6.0-120 prototype and moving on to large offshore projects now in operation such as Westermost Rough in the UK and Gode Wind in German waters.