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Wind turbine makers aim for the sky

Wind turbine makers Suzlon is wrapping up the “last patch of paperwork” before launching its latest turbine, the S-111. Rival Gamesa has just begun selling its latest wind turbine, the G-114, and says it will begin serial production later this year. “The supply chain is being established,” says the company.

Both firms have said their products will generate 20 per cent more power than their predecessors, at the same wind sites.

The S-111 and G-114 are instances of windmills soaring to new “heights”. The higher you go, the more the wind you capture, and the more the power you generate.

In India, as the sites with the best and second-best wind speeds (10 metres per second and 8.5 mps, average) have all been taken up, turbine manufacturers have to make products for low wind sites.
Aiming high

To compensate for low winds, the turbine makers opt for greater tower heights. The S-111 now comes at 95 metres. On the anvil is another version at 120 metres, which will generate 29 per cent more electricity than the S-97 turbine with a 90-metre configuration.

Gamesa’s G-114 windmill is 106 metres high. Company sources said one has been commissioned “for a leading international power company” in Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh.

The second is under construction in Chandgarh, Madhya Pradesh.

An S-111 is yet to be sold, but Suzlon Group Chief Technology Officer Duncan Koerbel said the company has received some orders.

Other wind turbine companies are not far behind. ReGen Powertech, for instance, has said it will launch a 2 MW machine with a hub height of 115 metres in April 2016. (The company recently came up with a 2.8 MW machine, but only for export.)

Currently, India has installed wind power capacity of 23,590 MW, and the government’s target is to reach 60,000 MW by 2022.

That’s a tall order, and it calls for tall machines.


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