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NWTC Installs Multimegawatt Research Turbines

August 26, 2009

NREL’s National Wind Technology Center installed the first of two multimegawatt wind turbines last week to be used for research to advance wind turbine performance and reliability. Crews at the NWTC began lifting the GE 1.5-MW turbine’s 262-ft steel tower using a 320-ft crane on August 17th and finished with the installation of its nacelle and rotor on August 21st. The GE turbine, purchased by the U.S. Department of Energy, will be used as a tool for long-term research and testing. It will be extensively instrumented to collect detailed data that will help researchers study the microclimate in which the turbine operates, the aerodynamics of its design, the effects of turbulence on its load and performance, and how the combination of these factors may affect wind plant performance. The turbine will also be used to educate budding wind engineers and researchers from universities, laboratories and companies nationwide.

The second turbine, to be installed in September, is a Siemens 2.3-MW turbine. The installation of the turbine will facilitate a cooperative research and development agreement between NREL and Siemens to validate the performance of this late-stage prototype that features a novel blade design.

Both the GE and the Siemens turbines will be connected to the grid and are expected to generate twice as much energy as the NWTC uses.

For more information about the installation of the two turbines at the NWTC see Wind Technology Center Installing a Dynamic Duo.