GE Wind Energy Tests 3.6MW Wind Turbine
GE Wind Energy (Orlando, FL), a business unit of GE Power Systems, announced that it is now testing a prototype 3.6MW wind turbine, which will be the world's largest commercial wind turbine. The wind machine was installed in Spain in May 2002, connected to the electrical grid in September and reached its nominal power output in October.
Designed specifically for offshore wind installations, the wind turbine has a hub height of 75m (246ft) and a rotor diameter of 104m (341ft). The prototype, however, was installed on a farm, so it is mounted at a hub height of 100m (328ft) to account for the higher wind turbulence over land. The massive turbine is equipped with an optional internal 40-ton crane that will allow for the exchange of the rotor blades, gearbox and generator without using a separate, external crane. It can also be fitted with a helicopter-hoisting platform to allow the use of helicopters when working on the turbine. GE Wind Energy will manufacture the wind turbines in Germany and the US once the test period is complete.