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SWT-3.0-101: increased performance with 50 percent fewer parts
Siemens Energy has launched its new SWT-3.0-101 Direct Drive wind turbine for sale in South Africa. The new turbine, with a rated power of 3 megawatts (MW) offers innovation through a completely new Direct Drive concept, introducing a permanent magnet generator. With half the parts of a conventional geared wind turbine, and less than half the number of moving parts, the new wind turbine will require less maintenance and increase profitability for customers. Featuring a rotor diameter of 101 metres, the new Direct Drive wind turbine is available for sales for both onshore and offshore projects.
According to Tom Pederson, Head of Siemens Wind Power for Africa and Middle East, the main target for the new machine is to reduce complexity in order to increase reliability and profitability. “We are confident that our new Direct Drive wind turbine is a reliable investment in the future of power generation.”
The model features a new, gearless drive train design with a compact, synchronous generator, including permanent magnets. The main advantage of permanent magnet generators is their simple and robust design that requires no excitation power, slip rings or excitation control systems. This leads to high efficiency even at low loads. The generator of the first prototype machine, which was installed in Denmark in 2009, was produced by the Large Drives Business Unit within the Siemens Industry Sector.
One of the biggest advantages of the new machine is its compact design. With a length of 6.9 metres and a diameter of only 4.2 metres, the nacelle can be transported using standard vehicles commonly available in most major markets. “The nacelle of this new model weighs 73 tons, which is less than the nacelle of our standard 2.3-MW wind turbine,” says Pederson. “However, in spite of the compact design, we have actually given our service technicians more space to operate because we radically reduced the number of parts.”
Of the five key components in a wind turbine – the blade, rotor hub, nacelle, tower and controller – all but the nacelle are adapted from Siemens’ existing portfolio. By using proven components, Siemens has endeavoured to eliminate the risks traditionally associated with the introduction of such an innovative product.
“The performance of the first prototype, which was installed more than a year ago, has been excellent,” reports Pederson. “Since then the zero-series with up to 10 SWT-3.0-101 wind turbines have been installed in various parts of the world with commercial serial production commencing earlier this year with a controlled ramp-up programme. Not only has this reduced the risks for customers, but it has also boosted the reliability and profitability of our technology.”
Siemens is currently the world’s largest supplier of eco-friendly technologies and solutions which enable customers to significantly reduce their CO2 emissions. Wind turbines are part of Siemens’ Environmental Portfolio. Siemens AG has committed to developing a centre of competence for Wind Power in South Africa which will serve the local market as well as the rest of Africa and the Middle East. Wind energy, along with hydro power, is currently the most competitive of all renewable energies. In the area of wind energy, Siemens is growing faster than the market with its installations of wind parks.