Transformers are designed specifically for floating wind turbines
ABB has won a contract from MHI Vestas Offshore Wind that will see it supplying its WindSTAR transformers for the WindFloat Atlantic windfarm. The windfarm is expected to go into operation next year.
The windfarm will be located 20km off the coast of Viana de Castelo, Portugal, where the waters are said to be 100m deep. According to ABB, commonly used offshore wind turbines are secured onto the seabed and can only be used in depths of approximately 40-to-50m.
ABB says its WindSTAR power transformers are engineered to be extra resilient against strong vibrations and extreme and sudden movements encountered on floating wind farms. The transformers will be installed in each of the three turbines on WindFloat Atlantic.
The windfarm is said to boast the largest and most powerful wind turbines ever installed on a floating foundation. The 8.4MW wind turbines are said to be 190m tall and just three of the turbines will provide enough electricity for over 18,000 households in Portugal.
“These transformers are another pioneering ABB technology innovation which will facilitate the integration of more renewables into the grid,” said Markus Heimbach, managing director of ABB’s transformer business unit.
The transformers are all designed to fit into the tower of offshore turbines. The 66kV transformers for floating applications, present an important opportunity to facilitate offshore wind farms installed in deeper water, he added.
Floating wind farms feature wind turbines mounted on floating structures that allow the turbines to generate electricity in water depths where fixed-foundation turbines are not feasible. These solutions are said to open large regions of previously unusable ocean to renewable offshore wind power generation, ABB said in its statement.
He concluded, “ABB technologies continue to shape the evolving grid with solutions that help run the world without consuming the earth.”