EWEA OFFSHORE 2013: Alstom installs world’s largest offshore wind turbine

The 6 MW Haliade 150, the largest offshore wind turbine ever installed in sea waters.
The 6 MW Haliade 150, the largest offshore wind turbine ever installed in sea waters.

Located off Ostend harbour at the Belwind site in Belgium, the turbine has a 150 m rotor (with blades stretching 73.50 m), and a reported yield 15% better than existing offshore turbines, enabling it to supply power to the equivalent of about 5,000 households.

This follows successful tests performed on the first Haliade 150 commissioned in March 2012 at Le Carnet site in France, which successfully obtained in May 2013 the IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) power performance measurement (power curve). This installation will help confirm how the machine behaves within the offshore environment.

Alstom's turbine features a 61 m jacket top of pillars which have been sunk to a depth exceeding 60 m. In all, the nacelle towers at a height of over 100 m above sea level. The overall weight of the turbine and its structure totals 1,500 tonnes.

The Haliade 150 operates without a gearbox, using direct drive. Due to its permanent-magnet generator, there are fewer mechanical parts inside the device, making it more reliable and thus helping to reduce operating and maintenance costs. It features Alstom’s Pure Torque design, which protects the generator by diverting unwanted mechanical stress towards the tower.

“This project with Belwind asserts our technological leadership and our innovative abilities,” said Alstom Wind senior vice-president Alfonso Faubel. “The installation of our turbine which is simple, robust and efficient thus contributing in boosting the competitiveness of offshore wind energy.”