Chinese companies claim they have built the world's biggest 16 MW wind turbine

It's claimed to have been created following calls made by Chinese authorities for the independent development of cutting-edge technology.
Christopher McFadden
Goldwind turbine
Goldwind turbine

Goldwind 

In East China's Fujian Province, a huge offshore wind turbine with the world's largest per-unit capacity has come off the assembly line, according to China's China Three Gorges Corporation (CTG). According to CTG, the 16-megawatt wind turbine boasts the world's longest impeller diameter of 827-foot (252 meters), the lightest per megawatt weight, and a 480-foot (146-meter) hub, which is equivalent to the height of a 50-story structure.

The turbine, jointly created by CRG and Xinjiang Goldwind Sci & Tech Co., Ltd., represents an innovation in producing high-quality wind turbines. The project is a collaboration between China Three Gorges (CTG) and Goldwind, and the partners stated this demonstrated that China is now "leading, not following" in the global wind sector.

CTG and Goldwind believe the 16MW unit is the highest-rated generator ever built. Its enormous rotor diameter provides a 50,000-meter swept area that can generate enough electricity to power 36,000 households annually, CTG claim.

Chinese companies claim they have built the world's biggest 16 MW wind turbine
The new turbine can power tens of thousands of homes.

In addition to meeting the yearly energy needs of 36,000 three-person households, it can save 22,000 tonnes of standard coal and 54,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide, with its estimated average annual power output of over 66 million kWh.

The new turbine is a monster, and could put China in the lead with wind turbine development

The new enormous turbine comes as a bit of a surprise as it was unveiled fairly shortly after the same partners unveiled a 13.6MW turbine. That and the new turbine now put Goldwind at the forefront of a group of Chinese OEMs currently matching and surpassing the scale of models planned by western competitors Vestas, Siemens Gamesa, and GE.

Lei Mingshan, chairman of CTG, said that "the successful roll-out of the 16MW unit marks that my country's wind power equipment industry has achieved a historic leap from 'following' to 'running alongside' and then to 'leading,' creating the latest benchmark for the development of global offshore wind power equipment.”

The CTG leader claimed that its model was created following calls made by Chinese authorities for the independent development of cutting-edge technology that meets international standards in crucial industries.

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"The 16MW unit has made important technological breakthroughs in the R&D and manufacturing of key core components such as large main shaft bearings and ultra-long lightweight blades," added Goldwind chief engineer Zhai Endi.

"The digital level of unit operation status monitoring is high, and it can intelligently adjust the operation mode for severe weather such as typhoons," Endi also said.

According to Recharge News, the Goldwind/CTG move comes shortly after fellow Chinese company MingYang, also developing a 16MW model, announced that it would roll out a 14MW version next year. In addition, Recharge disclosed that CSSC Haizhuang would introduce its 16.7MW offshore design.

The OEMs are aiming for success in China's enormous domestic offshore wind industry, which is now the largest in the world, as well as progressively farther afield, where they hope to provide a substitute for western competitors who have so far dominated outside of Chinese waters.

"China's wind turbine manufacturing has led the globe after leap-forward development," claimed Mingshan.