A number of product launches and business transactions have been reported from WindEnergy Hamburg during the first two days of the world’s leading wind industry expo. The biggest gathering of the global wind industry is always a platform for showcasing visions, products, services and business, said Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the International Energy Agency in Hamburg, summarising the direction the expo is taking. His personal vision: Continued growth of the industry so it will be Europe's leading energy provider by 2027. Until Friday, more than 1,400 exhibitors from 40 countries are presenting the entire portfolio of the wind industry on land and at sea at the Hamburg Messe site. Taking place in parallel, the global WindEurope conference offers a high-profile programme where more than 250 expert speakers cover current and future topics related to wind energy. Both top-ranking events jointly form the Global Wind Summit in Hamburg.
Timed perfectly for the world's leading wind industry expo, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy (SGRE) celebrated the topping-out ceremony for its electrothermal energy storage facility (ETES) in Hamburg-Altenwerder. With this innovative storage system, Siemens Gamesa offers a solution for one of the core challenges of the energy transition: enhancing flexibility for both, the supply and demand sides of the renewable energy market. With a capacity of 30 megawatt hours (MWh), the system boasts maximum scalability and low investment costs. What is more, the company said it has received a contract to build eight new wind farms off Spain during the first two quarters of 2019. At the VDMA Morning Briefing, Andreas Nauen, CEO Offshore at Siemens Gamesa, also announced the introduction of several logistics and technology innovations enabling further cost reductions in the offshore wind segment.
Right on the first day of the trade fair, MHI Vestas presented plans to build a 10 MW version of its V164 offshore wind turbine. The unit is expected to be ready for deployment at sea from 2021. It will also be suitable for installation as a 'floating wind turbine'. This means MHI Vestas will be the first manufacturer to market a commercial wind turbine in the 10 megawatt class. The V164 will feature a Beefier gearbox, some minor mechanical upgrades and an improved air flow design.
GE Renewable Energy introduced a new 5.3 MW onshore wind turbine model with a two-piece blade design as part of a new platform with improved logistics and site functions just in time for WindEnergy Hamburg. The 5.3-158 is the latest addition to the Cypress platform, which builds on GE's 2 MW and 3 MW fleets and utilizes the 4.8-158 turbine architecture. According to GE, it offers up to a 50% increase in annual energy production (AEP) compared to the 3 MW platform and enables "significant" AEP improvements, higher service efficiency and better transport and site
potential. A prototype of the 5.3-158 machine is currently being manufactured in Salzbergen and is scheduled to go into operation by the end of 2018.
Envision presented a novelty called EnScope, a software tool for smart site analyses based on open data: The product is capable of evaluating information from Copernicus, Open Street Map as well as national data sources. It can be used to select sites for wind farms or for infrastructure planning across countries and larger regions. For example, by entering restrictions for specific site, such as noise limits, minimum distance from neighbouring installations or buildings, "Natura 2000” areas and slope of the terrain, the tool reveals how land-based wind turbines installed across Europe could meet the energy needs of the entire world.
The new ZF Wind Power modular platform design is named SHIFT 6k and was presented by a birthday party. It helps businesses to realise cost-effective turbines. Thanks to modularity of the sys, the initial development costs are lower in comparison to a dedicated gearbox design. As stated by ZF, the shift 6K delivers a higher performance, more flexibility, and more availability. SHIFT 6k’ is suitable for powering new generation turbines from 4.5MW up to 7MW and rotor diameters of up to 180 meters.
Another industry novelty was introduced by Miros Group, a provider of ocean surface measurement data. The company supplies dry sea state measurements as a cloud-based service. Customers can obtain flexible access to real-time sea state information without having to invest in data capturing and transmission infrastructure themselves. "The availability of sea state information through the cloud was a big accomplishment, but we believe that providing this information as a pure service will be just as important for our clients," said Andreas Brekke, CEO of Miros Group.
A number of other exhibitors likewise presented impressive product novelties at the fair.
Contract signings show the industry's impetus
Apart from announcements of innovative technology and product novelties, a number of business deals have been sealed at WindEnergy Hamburg. For example, the Finnish company Pemamek announced a major contract from the Portuguese renewable energy specialist ASM Industries (ASMI) for the delivery of manufacturing lines for heavy offshore-type pipe structures. This investment will enable ASMI to execute its plan to build a new industrial production unit for offshore structures at the port of Aveiro. The new production facility is worth €29 million.
Vattenfall and Nordex Group signed a supply agreement for an expansion of the "Wieringermeer" wind farm. The expansion will comprise 32 units of the N117/3600 model. Just one year ago, the energy company had ordered 50 wind turbines of the same series for this project. Construction preparations are underway. The expansion contract not only includes the supply and installation of the wind turbines but also a turbine maintenance agreement with a minimum two-year term. "We are now in the process of building nearly 300 MW for Vattenfall. The new contract sends an important signal, highlighting a mutual trust between our teams that has grown substantially over the past months," said Patxi Landa, Chief Sales Officer at Nordex SE.
The Norwegian utility company Statkraft announced plans to invest Nkr 10 billion (€1 billion) annually from 2019 until 2025 in the expansion of its renewable energies portfolio. The company plans to install six gigawatts of wind power and two gigawatts of photovoltaics. 26per cent of this investment sum will go to Norway, with an annual Nkr 1.2 billion earmarked for upgrading the
country’s hydroelectric power plants. According to the company, the largest portion of its investment, 42per cent of the total amount, will remain in Europe; the remainder will go to other markets such as India and South America.
Io360, a Scottish start-up, has developed a leading-edge 360-degree display called Io which generates video objects and 3D models that appear to be floating in space. The display exceeds the capabilities of virtual reality headsets such as Oculus Rift, Magic Leap's specialised goggles or even the augmented-reality handheld system by Apple. People can enjoy it together and discuss the content, walking around the displayed object and interacting with it from any angle. At WindEnergy Hamburg, Io360 is presenting applications created for some of the globally-leading Scottish shipping companies, including 360-degree, 3-D animations capable of simulating dynamic underwater currents.
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