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GE Energy has expanded its 1.5MW series of wind turbines to include the 1.5xle model, designed for efficient operation in weak wind areas. Recently, a prototype of the 1.5xle wind turbine was connected to the grid at the Klondike Wind Farm in Sherman County, Oregon, to begin its performance testing phase, which is scheduled for completion by the end of the year. For the prototype 1.5xle unit, a few mechanical adjustments were required to accommodate the larger rotor diameter. The pitch bearing, pitch system, rotor hub and blades, gears and towers were enhanced to meet the higher demands. Test-bed trials for the 1.5xle ran for two months, with successful results. The new machine’s LM 40 rotor blade has been specifically adapted to meet the operational requirements, and also underwent extreme-load and fatigue testing. The 1.5xle series is available with tower heights of 58.7, 80 and 100 metres. The tallest version is also available in solid steel form with no concrete foundation.
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