A wind turbine is assembled on an offshore platform in Fujian province in June. [Photo/Xinhua]
The construction of a ground transmission testing and research platform for offshore wind turbines in Shantou, Guangdong province, will support innovation in China's wind power technology, according to experts at an international wind power technology conference.
The 40-megawatt wind turbine electrical and dynamic experimental platform was launched during a recent international wind power technology and innovation conference, which concluded in Shantou on the weekend.
"This experimental platform will enhance the reliability of wind turbine designs and enable exploration of mechanical theories and improvement in the accuracy of future simulation analysis," said Qin Haiyan, secretary-general of the Chinese Wind Energy Association.
The platform, with an investment of about 1 billion yuan ($140 million), is capable of simulating the ground conditions of a 40 MW offshore wind turbine under real load conditions, becoming the world's largest and leading experimental research platform for ground transmission systems of offshore wind turbines.
"As wind power has developed rapidly, the capacity of individual units has increased a lot over the past few years," said Qin, who is also vice-chairman of the World Wind Energy Association.
In the past, the transmission chain for wind power was rigid, but now it has become flexible, according to Qin, adding the platform would play a crucial role in supporting technological research and innovation.
"With the increasing force it bears, the load on offshore wind turbines with capacities exceeding 30 MW becomes very complex," said Qin.
Under such complex load conditions, its mode of operation and how it will endure is unclear, according to Qin. "As a result, it is necessary to rely on large scientific devices to conduct experiments," he said.
Construction of the testing platform is part of major efforts by local authorities in Shantou, a city with 396 kilometers of coastline, to develop an international wind power innovation port in the future.
Shantou has the unique advantage of developing the offshore wind power industry, given its long coastline with an annual average offshore wind speed of about 30 kilometers an hour, according to Wen Zhanbin, Party chief of Shantou.
According to a development report on the global offshore wind energy industry chain, which was released at the conference, China has developed a complete offshore wind power industry chain, accounting for 73 percent of global capacity.
The report indicates that China currently accounts for 60 percent of the global market in terms of wind turbine capacity, 64 percent of the global blade capacity and 80 percent in terms of the global gearbox capacity.
China has become the world's largest country in terms of cumulative installed capacity of offshore wind power, driving global offshore wind power development, according to the report.
Accelerated development of the global wind power industry is an objective necessity to achieve climate goals, according to a declaration on building a global community of the wind power industry through cooperation and innovation.
The conference attracted some 600 government, institutional and business delegates from over 20 countries and regions to discuss issues related to wind power technologies and international cooperation in the wind power industry.