New 18-MW Model Takes Over as World's Largest Offshore Wind Turbine

A subsidiary of the China State Shipbuilding Corp. (CSSC) has unveiled components for what would be the world’s largest and most-powerful wind turbine, an 18-MW product that tops the recent launching of a 16-MW turbine developed by other Chinese companies.

CSSC Haizhuang unveiled the new turbine in a ceremony at the Dongying City industrial park in China’s Shandong province. The 18-MW unit will feature a 260-meter-diameter rotor that will power a modularized medium-speed geared drive train and permanent magnet generator, which were highlighted in a YouTube video published Jan. 6 (see below).

The party group of CSSC also Friday met to “revisit and study the important instructions and instructions made by General Secretary Xi Jinping [China’s president] to the group company, and to convey and learn from General Secretary Xi Jinping’s 2023 New Year’s greetings.” The group in a statement said, “We must keep in mind the corporate mission of the group company ‘leading the development of the industry, supporting national defense construction, and serving the national strategy’,” which includes leadership in development of offshore wind equipment.

The rotor hub and nacelle of a new 18-MW offshore wind turbine from a subsidiary of China State Shipbuilding Corp. is shown at its factory. Source: CSSC Haizhuang

“The H260-18MW turbine… will make a great contribution to the improvement of turbine capacity and efficiency, as well as reducing the LCOE [levelized cost of energy] of offshore wind farms, and has market prospects in high-speed wind and deep-sea areas,” said the company in a news release.

Chinese Companies Building Ever-Larger Turbines

The new turbine is larger than designs from China Three Gorges, Goldwind, and MingYang—other Chinese companies—and also more powerful than current offerings from Siemens Gamesa, Vestas, and General Electric.

CSSC Haizhuang in its news release said the components of the H260-18.0 turbine “demonstrated that [the manufacturer] has mastered the core technologies of high-rating offshore wind turbines and key components, leading the global offshore wind power industry to reach a new milestone.”

The company, based in Chongqing in southwest China, said its design is “aspirant to the [offshore wind] turbine crown,” and is the latest evolution of its prior 16-MW turbine. The group said the turbine is “of far-reaching significance for promoting the Chinese energy transition and accelerating the reach of  ‘30/60’ target,” referring to China’s plan to be net-zero by 2030, and carbon-neutral by 2060.

Massive Blades

CSSC Haizhuang in describing the new turbine said the H260-18.0 has a 128-meter SuperBlade+ blades. The blades feature load-reducing pitch control, and have a sweep of 53,000m2, which it said it “equal to the area of seven football pitches.” The group it designed the turbine to feature a power train “with requirements of balanced load, flexible matching of generator system and common blade model.” The group said the equipment is engineered with a “holographic sensing system” for overall load-reduction, and control technology for variable pitch and torque, and is supported by multi-source online monitoring” to curb blade flutter, or the amount of aeroelastic instability caused by the combination of vibration and pressure distributions on the blades by 10%. The design also is expected to minimize vibrations in the turbine’s tower and foundations by as much as 50%, according to CSSC Haizhuang.

“The adaptive power increasing control technology improves the power generation capacity by 3% for every turbine,” CSSC Haizhuang said. The group said each turbine would be capable of producing 74,000 MWh of electricity annually.

CSSC Haizhuang in its release said, “In 2022, China’s offshore wind market entered into the new era of grid parity. Under this situation, the wind industry focuses on how to achieve LCOE reduction and improving power generation. And there is no doubt that large-scale and high-reliability of wind turbine is an inevitable requirement for the scale-up development of wind power and cost reduction.”

The company said the new model was developed with “independent IP [intellectual property] rights, which improved the nationalization rate of [the] turbine” with 80% of the design’s components, including blade, gearbox, generator being delivered by its subsidiary companies.

“This will ultimately improve the manufacturing level of Chinese wind equipment industry, leading [to] the industrial upgrading [and] bringing significant social and economic benefits and embracing a broad prospect of industrialization [in the country]”, the company said.

Darrell Proctor is a senior associate editor for POWER (@POWERmagazine).

SHARE this article