New 3.0 MW Wind Turbine Rolled Out
Vestas Wind Systems A/S, a Danish company, introduces the V112-3.0 MW with a series of videos from top officials, including Vestas Americas' President Martha Wyrsch discussing safety and environmental stewardship.
Vestas Wind Systems A/S, a Danish company, has rolled out its V112-3.0 MW wind turbine in a series of video presentations from top officials, including one video devoted to safety and environmental stewardship. Vestas began producing wind turbines in 1979 and is a world leader in that industry, expecting to secure orders this year worth 8 to 9 billion euros. In the second quarter of 2010, its turbine orders totaled 3,031 megawatts, highest in the company's history.
The safety video features Martha Wyrsch, president of Vestas Americas, discussing the company's safety culture and performance. She says 97 percent of Vestas employees worldwide work in facilities certified to ISO and OHSAS standards, with awards given to facilities to mark one or more years of injury-free operation. Three facilities won such awards in 2010: the Test Centre, in Arhus, Denmark, honored for six years, and an assembly factory in Tianjin, China, and a nacelles facility in Sweden, both for one year. As of the first quarter of 2010, the company's injury rate was 87 percent better than its rate from 2005, according to safety data linked in her presentation.
Vestas makes an array of turbines rated to generate lesser amounts of power than the V112, which can be placed onshore or offshore. The V112 brochure indicates its hub will be 84, 94, or 119 meters above the ground, depending on the configuration, with blades measuring 54.6 meters in length. Wyrsch's video points out the hazards associated with wind turbines, which include a confined space (the nacelle), working at heights, and high voltage.
On Sept. 8, a 7-meter piece of a blade broke off from a V112 MW prototype in Lem, Denmark. Vestas said it happened because of human error when the blade was manually produced. It was one of the first three blades manufactured for the V112-3.0 MW prototype program that, according to the company's normal procedures, had not undergone "normal verification and reliability testing." The company's statement said because of the incident, Vestas will "ensure that prototype quality meets higher demands than those applied for this prototype production," and it said a third-party expert investigation would follow its own internal investigation. "Manually produced prototypes will, however, always involve a significant higher risk of failure than by automated production processes," the company stated. "It is important to emphasize that when the V112-3.0 MW turbine is put into serial production, this kind of failure will not be possible in Vestas' automated manufacturing process. The V112-3.0 MW turbine, and consequently, the blade was released for sale in the middle of August 2010 following a comprehensive test program validating the design inclusive of the blade design. The design has thus been certified according to global industry standards, and therefore Vestas' conclusion is that the failure cannot originate from a design flaw. On the basis of the conclusion of this investigation, Vestas will make no changes to the plans for the turbine's release for sale, marketing and production."