To help with meeting the need to increase the number of wind farms in South Africa, including in areas with moderate to low wind speeds, global engineering company Siemens in November launched its new wind turbine at wind energy exhibition event Windaba, held in Cape Town.
“With the Model SWT-3.3-130 wind turbine, Siemens is responding to the worldwide developing trend of building onshore wind farms in regions with low wind speeds,” says Siemens Southern and Eastern Africa wind and renewables power VP Tom Pedersen.
The wind power unit delivers 3.3 MW and extracts maximum energy yield from low to moderate wind velocities. It has a rotor measuring 130 m in diameter, says Pedersen, adding that the wind turbine will be available from early 2017.
“Windaba is a good platform to launch our new product. We highly value our relationship with the continent and we are committed to a diversified product portfolio to meet the different customer needs,” he notes.
Pedersen says Siemens has injected more than five years of relevant experience gained from designing its D3 wind power unit into the new SWT-3.3-130. “This has enabled engineers to create more efficient core components; in the new unit, the direct-drive PMG generator operates with even stronger permanent magnets to further enhance output.
“The designs of the nacelle bedplate yaw drive and other components important to unit statics have also been strengthened to accommodate the new 130-m-long rotor,” he points out.
Pedersen adds that the SWT-3.3-130 uses B63 blades measuring 63 m in length. “These aeroelastically tailored blades limit the static loading of the nacelle and tower, particularly under turbulent wind conditions, as the blade ends act to cushion and absorb high wind pressure and gusts.”
Further innovations featured in the SWT-3.3-130 include a newly designed cooling system that has now been integrated into the nacelle and ensures optimum cooling of the generator and other electrical components.
“Thanks to its reworked technology and 130 m rotor, this new unit exceeds the annual energy yield of the previous D3-series wind turbine by 17% to 20%,” he says.
Siemens is confident that its customers will embrace the new product. “It has the potential to set new standards for economic efficiency, energy yield and reliability,” Pedersen adds.
Wind power and the associated service activities are part of Siemens’ environmental portfolio. Around 43% of the company's revenues are generated through green products and solutions. “That makes Siemens one of the world’s leading providers of ecofriendly technology.”