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Evolving from GE’s earlier 2.x megawatt series design, first introduced in 2003, the new 2.5 and 3MW machines introduce a number of industry innovations, including a permanent magnet generator, a modular converter with full power conversion and advanced control technologies. GE has already tested a 2.5MW prototype wind turbine, which was installed in May 2004 at Wieringermeer, the Netherlands, about 50 kilometres north of Amsterdam. Installation of the first 3MW machine is planned for the summer of 2006. Both the 2.5 and the 3MW wind turbines are expected to be commercially available in Europe by the end of 2006. At the heart of the new wind turbines is a force-flow optimised bedplate, which joins all nacelle components on a common structure, providing increased durability. The new 2.5MW machine will be available with a 100-metre rotor diameter, while the 3MW wind turbine will offer both 90 and 94-metre rotor diameters. Control features, including a sophisticated pitch regulation system with power/torque control capability and improved use of the drive train damper, mitigate the increased loads of the larger rotor. Both new units also employ a permanent magnet synchronous generator. A new bearing design substantially increases the life and reliability of the gearbox by preventing bending and thrust loading produced in the rotor from impacting the gearbox. A lubrication system, designed to increase reliability and lower operation and maintenance costs, automatically lubricates pitch, yaw, main and generator bearings.
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