The world's most powerful turbine produces energy for the first time

It is now set for serial production.
Ameya Paleja
The V236 wind turbine after being installed
The V236 wind turbine after being installed

Vestas 

The prototype of the Vestas V236, a 15 MW wind turbine, was recently installed at the Østerild National test center for large wind turbines in Western Jutland, Denmark, and spun to make its first kWh of power, the manufacturer said in a press release. This is currently the world's most powerful wind turbine installed.

As the world looks to move away from fossil fuels and toward renewable energies, wind turbines are rapidly becoming a popular choice for many countries. The advantages of picking wind over solar are manifold since wind farms can be set up without sacrificing land available for agriculture and can also work to generate energy around the clock.

For countries that have limited land mass but extensive territorial waters, wind turbines can help tap into sea winds, and technologies like floating wind farms are easing the hurdles in commissioning them. On their part, manufacturers are looking to build bigger wind turbines that can cover larger seep areas and reduce the number of installations needed for a wind farm of a certain capacity.

The world's largest wind turbine

Denmark-based Vestas Wind Systems has been in the wind energy business for more than half a century. As the provider of wind turbines to 88 countries and with over 160 GW capacities installed, Vestas is now leading the way toward making the next generation of wind turbines with higher power generation efficiencies.

Announced in February of 2021, the V236 is a 15 MW turbine with a sweeping area that exceeds 470,000 square feet (43,743 square meters). The diameter of the turbine rotor is 774 feet (236 m) and the turbine assembly stands at an astonishing 919 feet (280 m). nearly the same as the Trump Building On Wall Street, New York.

The 379 feet (115.5 m) long turbine blades have been manufactured at Vestas’ blade factory in Nakskov, Denmark, and a single turbine is capable of delivering 80GWh of energy every year. This would be sufficient to power 20,000 European households and prevent 38,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere every year, the press release added.

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The market for large turbines is heating up

The V236 turbine will now undergo extensive testing and verification before it receives full-type certification and serial production can begin.

"This is a great step forward in our ambition to accelerate the green energy transition, and it is a major milestone for Vestas and our partners," said Anders Nielsen, Chief Technology Officer at Vestas. "Colleagues across Vestas have worked very hard to ensure rapid progress in developing and assembling the V236-15.0 MW prototype. With this wind turbine, we set new standards for technological innovation, industrialization, and scale across renewable energy to create a sustainable offshore wind industry.”

Given the advantages of large wind turbines, it is not surprising to see many other manufacturers vying for the top spot in this segment. In April last year, Interesting Engineering reported how another manufacturer of wind turbines, Siemens Gamesa, was building a turbine with blades 377 feet (115 m) long while as the year drew to a close, China announced that it had built a 16MW wind turbine.