VENSYS Energy AG recently installed two new direct drive prototypes at the Wieringermeer test site in the Netherlands. First, the 4.1 MW Vensys115 with 115-metre rotor diameter and second a 3.8 MW Vensys126. Both are off springs of the 3.5 MW Vensys136 and main product of the Vensys 3.X volume platform.
By Eize de Vries
VENSYS reused all basic hardware including permanent magnet generator for the new turbine, and this time from the mature supply chain of Goldwind’s 3.5-4.1MW platforms deployed both onshore and offshore. Nacelle & generator hardware options are from China or Germany which are basically inter-changeable for these platforms.
Chinese company Goldwind & VENSYS present themselves as suppliers of quality products, says VENSYS head of sales Luis-Fernando Beckel, and not as a low-cost manufacturer some might mistakenly think. Goldwind further holds a long-time (2011 – 2020) market leadership position in China and ranked the world’s second largest turbine supplier in 2020.
VENSYS-specific for the new models and existing platforms are the pitch and yaw system, the converters for the electrical system, and turbine controls. These components are in-house manufactured in Germany, whereas VENSYS in addition operates its Eblades Technology blades plant in Spain since 2016.
The turbines in the Wieringermeer will be commissioned in late April or early May and were both developed for IEC II wind conditions, says Beckel: “One main product-market focus is at repowering projects like in the German states Schleswig Holstein and Westphalia, and Austria. We already developed a solid projects pipeline and with many permits granted. The 4.1 MW Vensys115, the first model of the 4.X-platform, will in addition be certified according IEC T for meeting typhoon conditions like found in our growth market Japan.”
Current annual installations of the medium-size German direct drive pioneer amount to 70 – 100 MW, but with plans to at least double this volume in the near future. VENSYS Energy was established in 2000, and Goldwind became its first licensee in 2003 followed by a 70% main shareholder position since 2008. Instrumental for Goldwind’s successful journey towards the current industry status became the legendary 1.5 MW direct drive platform. In total, over 18,000 units with various rotor sizes and including the later stage enhanced 2 MW were produced. This initial Vensys 70/77 series itself was remarkably a technology and product development of the Forschungsgruppe Windenergie development team at the University of Applied Sciences in Saarbrücken, Germany.
Beckel: “VENSYS has from the onset operated as an independent turbine developer and supplier but since 2008 with the backing of the powerful Goldwind Group. Global big accounts in a number of international markets are thereby handled by them, whereas we concentrate at medium-size wind projects but including those with high degrees of complexity. We further actively explore new market segments suiting our size and capabilities. Examples are the ongoing enhancement of our smallest 1.5 MW Vensys70 to 2 MW but with unchanged rotor diameter, and/or the revival of the 1.2 MW Vensys62 now with enhanced 1.5 MW rating.”
Such specifications offer fresh opportunities in the growing repowering market when initial 1.5 – 2 MW turbines have reached their end-of-life. This because the option of replacement by bigger units might be blocked by height and other restrictions, and there are hardly major suppliers left with such models still in their portfolio. He concludes: “VENSYS keeps a keen eye too on the largest onshore segment with a 5.6 MW Vensys170 (5S-platform) prototype with record 170-metre rotor in development and planned for launch in 2023.”
All photos credit: Ulrich Mertens/Vensys