Wind Power

08 Jun 2024

China Installs the World’s First 18 MW Wind Turbine

08 Jun 2024  by evwind   
For the first time in the world, China has completed the installation of an 18 MW wind turbine. The feat was achieved by Dongfang Electric Corporation, a state-owned wind turbine manufacturer, on June 5 with a single turbine installed at a coastal test base in southern China’s Guangdong province.

As countries look to phase out fossil fuels and increase their reliance on renewable energy, wind turbines are seeing a big boost. To take advantage of high-powered winds from the seas, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) have turned their attention to building better and larger turbines that can power multiple homes with a single movement of their blades.

At the China Wind Power event in October last year, DongFang presented two models of its 18 MW wind turbines, the largest in the world by power. Less than a year later, it has successfully completed the installation of a gigantic piece of infrastructure.

How big is an 18 MW wind turbine?

The turbine’s rotor diameter is a whopping 853 feet (260 m) and sweeps an area of ??more than 570,000 square feet (53,000 square meters), a little larger than seven standard-sized football fields.

The company estimates that the turbine will generate 72 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of energy per year, enough to meet the energy demand of 36,000 homes. More importantly, it will achieve this while avoiding the burning of 22,000 tons of coal and the release of 59,000 tons of carbon emissions.

Interestingly, DongFang is not the only company in China that has an 18 MW wind turbine. Interesting Engineering previously reported on MingYang Smart Energy’s 18 MW turbine that can exceed 20 MW of power output on windier days.

A demonstration of how much power a large turbine can generate on a good day was seen last year when a 16 MW turbine faced wind speeds of 53 miles (83 km) per hour. In 24 hours, the turbine produced 384 MWh of energy, enough to power 170,000 homes.

Back then, the South China Morning Post reported how the turbine designed by another Chinese OEM, GoldWind, could adjust its blades and continue generating power instead of shutting down, as has been the norm in the industry.

However, this trend of making larger wind turbines is only seen among Chinese manufacturers. European equipment manufacturer Vestas, which held the previous record for maximum power output from a turbine, has no plans to build turbines larger than 16 MW.

GE Electric, the other turbine manufacturer in the West, also entertained the idea of ??manufacturing a 17-18 MW version of its popular Halide series of wind turbines. Earlier this year, the parent company shelved plans, citing losses in offshore business and focusing its working capital on fulfilling a backlog of orders rather than developing new products.

On the other hand, Chinese wind turbine manufacturers have taken the lead in rapidly installing offshore wind turbines, achieving the feat in just 24 hours. It is no surprise that the first installation of a massive 18 MW turbine came from China, and we are likely to see more developments in this sector from this region in the future as well.


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