Medium-scale manufacturer Norvento has unveiled a new model of its industry-leading nED100 turbine aimed at increasing efficiency and reducing generation costs
The re-engineered design incorporates a number of innovations, such as a smaller and more compact generator, a lighter, redesigned nacelle and a more efficient 12 metre blade design. The new 100 kilowatt model was officially launched at the All Energy 2016 conference in Glasgow on 4th May and will enable landowners and commercial users to maximise financial returns and savings in the post-subsidy UK medium wind market.
The launch of the turbine comes amidst ongoing reductions to Feed-in Tariff (FiT) support for onshore wind in the UK, which, in conjunction with steadily rising retail electricity prices and falling technology and installation costs, are driving a fundamental shift in the way medium wind projects are deployed in the country. While opportunities to sell power back to the electricity grid remain, many users are now taking advantage of medium wind to directly support energy intensive on-site operations. In doing so, they are able to benefit from a consistent, low-cost source of generation and hedge against the increasing price of purchasing power from traditional providers. Installing a turbine can also reduce the on-site carbon footprint for utilities and commercial users while also helping to meet sustainability targets.
In order to make the most of these long-term benefits, the performance, efficiency and reliability of an on-site turbine throughout its operational lifetime is critical. The new nED100 model has been optimised to maximise performance, whilst minimising costs to the owner. It builds on experience and data accumulated over two hundred thousand operational hours served by the first-generation, industry-certified, nED100 fleet and the latest product of an ongoing multi-million pound R&D process stretching back more than eight years.
The new turbine has a direct drive permanent magnet generator which is lighter and more compact and tailored to the operational demands of the UK climate. It maintains the same high performance levels as the original generator, while enabling Norvento to use a more traditional nacelle design and a proven direct drive layout, whereby the generator is placed immediately behind the rotor, with a smaller shaft.
In addition, the optional new 12-metre blade design, optimised for Class III low wind conditions, eliminates the extenders that were deployed on the previous 24-metre rotor model and is lighter and more aerodynamic, boosting efficiency by 3 percent.
Moreover, the design of the nacelle cover and mechanical structure of the pitch actuator makes the entire structure lighter and creates space at the back of the nacelle for maintenance operations. Access to the nacelle is now located within the tower, which reduces risk for technicians and allows for O&M to be carried out during higher wind speeds. In a similar vein, the two control cabinets in the nacelle have been unified to simplify service operations.
These modifications enable Norvento to further increase the efficiency, safety and speed of scheduled and unscheduled maintenance, reducing necessary downtime and creating further long-term cost savings. In combination with many retained features from the original nED100 design, these modifications have helped the company to further refine a turbine model that was already unmatched with regard to its reliability, performance and visual, noise and grid impacts.
“With this new turbine design, we’re not “reinventing the wheel”’ said Ivo Arnús, Director of UK Business Development, Norvento. “nED100 is the product of extensive research into the UK market, and as the medium wind sector continues to evolve, we’re simply putting into practice a number of lessons learnt from our operational experience to refine a proven design. Having reviewed and enhanced our manufacturing process, we’re now able to offer a machine that delivers the same unparalleled performance and efficiency of the existing model at a lower cost.”
Mr Arnús added that ultimately, the redesign will support the ambitions of energy intensive users and landowners alike by reducing the overall cost of on-site wind energy generation, thereby maximizing the considerable financial benefits it continues to create in the UK market. The turbine gives customers the opportunity to produce their own electricity at a price cheaper than the one sourced from the grid, enabling them to take a large step towards energy independence.
The new turbine is now available, with the first deliveries scheduled to arrive in the fourth quarter of 2016. Furthermore, Norvento will be extending a promotional offer until the end of July which includes a £15,000 discount over the already decreased price.