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Can Offshore Wind Turbine Withstand the Impact of Typhoon?

published: 2019-05-31 11:21

At a recent seminar, experts and suppliers reassured the capability of offshore wind turbines in Taiwan to withstand the impact of typhoon which often ravages the island during summertime, dismissing a widespread concern which has overshadowed the prospect of the wind power industry in Taiwan.

During the seminar on "opportunities and vision for the establishment of wind-power industrial chain in Taiwan," held by SEMI, experts and suppliers referred to the rigorous process for the manufacturing of wind turbines to be installed off the coast of Taiwan, including the certification of GL materials, followed by the testing of wind turbine laboratory, system performance, and environmental safety before testing for small-volume and then mass production. Afterwards, wind turbines would undergo ISO9001 quality certification, ISO4001 environmental-management certification, and ISO45001 environmental-safety certification, with the entire process exceeding three years.

Moreover, MHI Vestas, a major wind-turbine manufacturer, has joined hands with DNV GL, a certification body, in formulating rigorous testing standards for IEC-T wind turbine, to assure its capability to withstand the impact of typhoon. Sun Ke-wei, business superintendent of MHI Vestas, noted that compared with onshore models, it is even easier to design offshore wind turbines capable of withstanding the impact of typhoon, due to more stable wind direction and velocity in offshore area.

Hsu Chieh-hui, general manager of TLC, an offshore wind power firm, pointed out that carbon fiber composite material has gradually replaced glass fiber for the production of wind-turbine blades, thanks to its merits of strong anti-corrosion, high rigidity, and lightweight, the latest capable of accommodating to the trend of high capacity for offshore wind turbines, as a result of which total height of such turbines are expected to exceed 300 meters by 2025. The lightweight is also conducive to the reduction of transportation and installation costs.

Given the high transportation cost for wind-turbine blades, Taiwanese blade manufacturers will be very competitive in producing blades for large wind turbines with capacity exceeding 8 MW, as European counterparts have to bear extra 20% for blade shipment to Asia, while there is still no blade suppliers in Japan, South Korea, and Southeast Asia and China manufacturers mostly produce blades for turbines with 3-4 MW in capacities. Therefore, Taiwan stands a good chance of becoming a wind-power industrial center in Asia-Pacific.

(First photo courtesy of EnergyTrend)   

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