China unveils 18-MW world’s largest offshore wind turbine that could power 40,000 homes annually

The turbine’s blades have a sweep of 53,000m2, which is equivalent to the area of seven football pitches.
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H260-18.0 has 128-meter SuperBlade+ blades that feature load-reducing pitch control.
H260-18.0 has 128-meter SuperBlade+ blades that feature load-reducing pitch control.

CSSC Haizhuang 

CSSC Haizhuang, one of China's top ten defense conglomerates, has claimed to have developed a rotor hub and nacelle of a massive 18 MW offshore wind turbine prototype.

The prototype of the world's largest offshore wind turbine was unveiled at an event in the Dongying City industrial park in China's Shandong province, according to a press release by the subsidiary of China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC) on Friday. 

"The H260-18MW turbine will make a great contribution to the improvement of turbine capacity and efficiency, as well as reducing the LCOE [levelized cost of energy] of offshore wind farms," read the company statement. 

The turbine "has market prospects in [the] high-speed wind and deep-sea areas."

The H260-18MW turbine unit will feature a rotor with a 260-meter diameter that will power a modularized medium-speed geared drive train and a permanent magnet generator.

This new turbine is larger than those from other Chinese companies, such as China Three Gorges, Goldwind, and MingYang. It is also more powerful than current models from Siemens Gamesa, Vestas, and General Electric. 

CSSC Haizhuang, based in Chongqing, southwest China, stated that its design is "aspirant to the [offshore wind] turbine crown," and it is the latest evolution of its prior 16 MW turbine.

H260-18MW offshore wind turbine 

China unveils 18-MW world’s largest offshore wind turbine that could power 40,000 homes annually
The blades have a sweep of 53,000m2, which is equivalent to the area of seven football pitches.

The company said the new turbine "H260-18.0" has 128-meter SuperBlade+ blades that feature load-reducing pitch control. 

These blades have a sweep of 53,000m2, which is equivalent to the area of seven football pitches. CSSC Haizhuang designed the turbine with a power train that has a "balanced load, flexible matching of generator system and common blade model" requirements. 

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The turbine also has a "holographic sensing system" for overall load reduction and control technology for variable pitch and torque. 

It is supported by multi-source online monitoring to reduce blade flutter, or the amount of aeroelastic instability caused by the combination of vibration and pressure distributions on the blades, by 10 percent. 

The design is also expected to minimize vibrations in the turbine's tower and foundations by up to 50 percent, according to CSSC Haizhuang.

Capacity: 74, 000 MWh of electricity annually 

H260-18.0 "demonstrated that [the manufacturer] has mastered the core technologies of high-rating offshore wind turbines and key components, leading the global offshore wind power industry to reach a new milestone." stated the press release. 

In a statement, the company said that the new model was developed with "independent IP [intellectual property] rights, which improved the nationalization rate of [the] turbine," with 80 percent of the design's components, including the blade, gearbox, and generator, being supplied by its subsidiary companies. 

When operating at maximum capacity, the H260-18MW will be capable of producing 44.8-kilowatt hours of electricity each revolution. A single wind turbine will be able to generate enough to power 40,000 homes for a whole year.

"The adaptive power increasing control technology improves the power generation capacity by 3% for every turbine," CSSC Haizhuang said. The group claimed each turbine would be capable of producing 74,000 MWh of electricity annually.

In 2022, China's offshore wind market entered a new era of grid parity. In this context, the wind industry is focusing on how to reduce LCOE (Levelized cost of energy) and improve power generation. 

CSSC Haizhuang believes that large-scale and high-reliability wind turbines are necessary for the scale-up development of wind power and cost reduction.