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Turbine Size

 

At the end of 2018, the average rated output of all installed offshore wind turbines worldwide was 3.94 MW, and in German projects 4.83 MW. Like onshore, the trend towards larger, more powerful units continues offshore: Turbines of 3 to 5 MW are increasingly being replaced by turbines with nominal capacities of more than 5 MW. The first OWPs with nominal turbine outputs above 8 MW went into operation in 2018 in Denmark (Horns Rev 3), Germany (Borkum Riffgrund 2) and the UK (Aberdeen Offshore WP, Walney 3). GE, Siemens and Vestas have already announced +10 MW models for the near future [Wind Turbine]. In 2018, around 25 percent of the newly installed plants had rated outputs above 5 MW - and the trend is rising. The share of wind turbines with a rated output of 3 to 5 MW is declining, as the following figure shows.

 

 

Highcharts Example
Data source for image

 

Data source: [Fraunhofer IEE]

 

 

Highcharts Example
Data source for image

 

Data source: [Fraunhofer IEE]

 

 

Looking back from 2000 to 2018, the ongoing trend towards higher rated outputs - from around 2.0 MW to 5.7 MW - can be seen as the average of the new offshore wind turbines commissioned each year. This development is reflected in the rotor diameter and the overpainted rotor area. Here the rotor area has more than tripled from 5027 m² or 80 metres in diameter (2002) to 141 metres in diameter or 15 659 m² in rotor area. For the future turbines of the +10 MW generation, rotor diameters in the range of 164 meters (21 124 m²) for the 10 MW turbine and 212 meters (35 300 m²) for the 12 MW turbine are mentioned. These will then become gigantic structures - but development will probably not stop here either. On the other hand, the increase in the mean hub height from approx. 70 metres to 108 metres is rather moderate.