MHI Vestas Offshore Wind and Clemson University in South Carolina announced that the world’s most powerful wind turbine, the V164-9.5MW, will have all testing and verification of the wind turbine’s gearbox and main bearings carried out at the university’s 15MW test bench.
The V164-9.5MW wind turbine is the turbine most likely to be used for the first round of major offshore wind projects in the United States, the manufacturer said.
“We are delighted to have found such world-class facilities to carry out vital testing of the world’s most powerful wind turbine,” said Jakob Søbye, Senior Director of Technology at MHI Vestas. “The testing and verification of the gearbox and bearings will allow us to optimize the performance and reliability of the wind turbine.”
The USD 35 million total project investment will direct as much as USD 23 million over five years to Clemson and stimulate the employment of a dozen hi-tech jobs, MHI Vestas said.
The testing is expected to allow MHI Vestas to gain a better understanding of how the 9.5MW gearbox and bearings will react over the course of a 20+ year lifecycle. Through the utilization of big data from the test results, MHI Vestas can optimize the service strategy for the turbine to ensure optimum reliability and minimize the fatigue on components.
The deal with Clemson University marks MHI Vestas Offshore Wind’s first major investment in the United States.
In November 2009, the US Department of Energy awarded Clemson University in South Carolina the largest grant in the university’s history to build and operate a facility to test next-generation wind-turbine drivetrain technology. The 82,000-square-foot facility was designed to house not only the wind-turbine drivetrain testing facility, but also grid integration studies.
The USD 98 million testing facility was funded by a USD 45 million Energy Department grant and matched by USD 53 million of public and private funds.