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MHI Vestas partners with Clemson University to test 9.5MW offshore wind turbine

CTBR Staff Writer Published 25 October 2017

Clemson University in South Carolina has agreed to test MHI Vestas’ latest V164-9.5MW offshore wind turbine at its 15MW test bench.

The $35m project will involve the testing and verification programme, which will examine the turbine’s gearbox and main bearings. It can help the company to gain insights about how the wind turbine will behave over a 20 year life cycle.

By using big data from the test results, MHI Vestas aims to optimise the service strategy for the turbine.

Testing of the wind turbine is expected to take place over the next five years and as much as $23m will be given to the university. The test will also create a dozen hi-tech jobs.

Clemson University provost Robert Jones said: “MHI Vestas’ decision to partner with Clemson to test its most powerful wind turbine is a testament to the expertise of our faculty and staff working at the test facility.

“The work that will be done as result of this partnership also will further Clemson’s efforts to establish the university as a leader in technologies related to the production of alternative energy sources, and hopefully will lead to further research and economic engagement opportunities for Clemson.”

MHI Vestas also expects that its 9.5MW wind turbine will mostly likely be used in the first round of the upcoming major offshore wind projects in the US. The deal opens up the offshore wind market for MHI Vestas in the US.

MHI Vestas technology senior director Jakob Søbye said: “We are delighted to have found such world-class facilities to carry out vital testing of the world’s most powerful wind turbine.

“The testing and verification of the gearbox and bearings will allow us to optimize the performance and reliability of the wind turbine.”

The new turbine from the company has 80m blades and the tip height of the turbine is 187m, with a hub height of 105m. Each blade weighs 35 tonnes.

MHI Vestas claims that the turbine has a record of generating 216MWh of electricity over a 24 hour period.

Image: Clemson University in US to test MHI Vestas 9.5MW offshore wind turbine. Photo: Courtesy of MHI Vestas Offshore Wind A/S.