Alstom tests 6 MW offshore turbine

The "Haliade 150-6 MW" stands not far from the Loire estuary and is currently the largest wind turbine worldwide. Photo: Alstom
The "Haliade 150-6 MW" stands not far from the Loire estuary and is currently the largest wind turbine worldwide. Photo: Alstom

The French technology group Alstom has erected the world's largest wind turbine on the Atlantic coast. Since 19 March, the 6 MW turbine with 150 m rotor diameter has stood on its 100 m tower at Carnet near Saint Nazaire, not far from the Loire estuary.

The rotor of the "Haliade 150-6 MW" sweeps an area of 17,670 m2, which is more than either of the previous largest wind turbines, the Gamesa G128 and the Enercon E-126. The tower consists of a 25 m high framework base supporting a 75 m high steel tube. The complete construction has a weight of around 1500 tons. The permanent magnet generator is directly driven by the motor. By doing without a gearbox, Alstom wants to decrease the technical downtime and reduce the maintenance required, which is especially important at sea. The second prototype is set to be built in the coming autumn in the North Sea off the Belgian coast.

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