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Turbine size

 

 At the end of 2017, the average rated capacity of all installed offshore wind turbines was 3.7 MW worldwide, 4.6 MW in German projects. Like onshore, there is also a trend towards ever larger, more powerful units offshore: Turbines between 3 and 5 MW are currently state of the art, but these are already being replaced by turbines with rated capacities of more than 5 MW. The first turbines with 8 MW are currently being tested. The market launch of the 10 MW offshore wind turbine is still a long time coming, but is eagerly awaited in the industry. In 2017, around 80 percent of newly installed turbines had rated capacities of more than 3 MW. About 20 percent of newly installed turbines belong to the +5 MW class, as shown in the following figure.

 

 

Highcharts Example
sourcedata for image

 

Data source: [Fraunhofer IEE]

 

 

Highcharts Example
sourcedata for image

 

Data source: [Fraunhofer IEE]

 

 

 Looking back from 2001 to 2017, the ongoing trend towards higher rated capacities is evident – from around 2.0 MW to 5.0 MW as the average of the new offshore wind turbines commissioned each year. This development is reflected in the rotor diameter and the coated rotor surface. Here, the rotor area tripled from 5027 m² or 80 metres in diameter (2002) to 136 metres in diameter or 14,611 m² in rotor area. The turbines have thus already reached gigantic proportions. When this trend will end is not yet foreseeable. However, the increase in the average hub height from approx. 70 metres to 96 metres is rather moderate.