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Vestas launches design for world's largest offshore wind turbine


April 6, 2011

Vestas has revealed plans to build the largest dedicated offshore wind turbine in the world - the 164 m diameter V164

Vestas has revealed plans to build the largest dedicated offshore wind turbine in the world - the 164 m diameter V164

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Offshore wind power specialist Vestas has revealed plans to build the largest dedicated offshore wind turbine in the world. The proposed V164 would have a 7.0 MW capacity, twice that of its predecessor, the 3.0 MW V112. The awesome 164 meter (538 ft) diameter rotor would eclipse the size of the current titleholder, the prototype G10X installed by Gamesa in Spain in 2009 which has a diameter of 128 m (420 ft).

The world's largest capacity wind turbine, the Enercon E-126 has a rated capacity of 7.58 MW, but its 126 m (413 ft) diameter would still be dwarfed by the V164. The proposed Sway AS rotor diameter of 145m (476ft) and could stretch capacity to 10 MW.

Vestas V164-7.0MW has a blade length of 80 meters, the length of nine routemaster buses

Horizontal-axis wind turbines (HAWT) are designed with a rotor shaft and electrical generator at the top of a tower. Small turbines are pointed into the wind by a simple wind vane, while large turbines generally use a wind sensor coupled with a servo motor. Most have a gearbox, which turns the slow rotation of the blades into a quicker rotation that is more suitable to drive an electrical generator.

Vestas approached the design using two separate R&D; teams – one investigating direct drive, and one investigating geared-train turbines – and eventually a proven medium-speed drive-train solution was chosen.

Vestas' V164 has been specially designed to withstand the punishing North Sea winds and the business case is aimed at the European market, especially the North European countries of UK, France, Sweden and Germany among others.

Construction of the first V164-7.0 MW prototypes are expected in late 2012, with serial production set to begin in early 2015 if enough orders are received to justify the substantial investment needed. Vestas says that the energy taken to produce the turbine would be paid back within ten months of installation.

Wind power in perspective

In the EU in 2009 renewable energy and wind accounted for 7% and 2% respectively of energy production, compared with coal at nearly 25%. Governments have agreed to increase energy production to 13% from renewable sources by 2020.

The potential added capacity of renewable energy in the EU accounts for two thirds the capacity available for all energy sources, and Vesta hopes to make wind the driving force behind the move towards 10% energy from wind by 2020.

"Seeing the positive indications from governments worldwide, and especially from the UK, to increase the utilization of wind energy is indeed very promising. We look forward to this new turbine doing its part in making these political targets a reality," said Vestas CEO Ditlev Engel.


If ever more energy is drawn from atmospheric movements, doesn\'t this influence the weather?


Suvilo, we already influence the weather by dumping huge masses of heat in concentrated areas (cities). Windmills are one of the few electricity sources that produce energy without dumping waste heat. Nuclear, coal, and natural gas all use steam turbines which are about 30-35 percent peak efficiency, which means they dump approximately 70 percent of the heat produced as completely unused waste.


How many birds will be killed each year? What is the maintenance cost? Life span? How does this compare with deep sea vent energy generation?


Suvilo - Just curious, but what kind of electrical generation do you like.


Good article on just that issue Suvilo, I tend to think taking energy from any finite source would have unintended consequences. http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21028063.300-wind-and-wave-farms-could-affect-earths-energy-balance.html?full=true

Michael Gene

@Suvilo... uh, no. On a grand scale, it\'s like asking if tiny fly can influence a hurricane. Think of a weather satellite phont showing a storm front covering thousands of miles... and then think of the little tiny man-made objects (buildings, towers, windmills)...and how they aren\'t even visible. Nil effect. In fact, look at a wind generator... the blades only cover less than 5% of the swept area...95% of the wind passes through unaltered...and then think how far apart they are place in comparison to each other horizontally, and then vertically how the wind goes up tens of thousands of feet... the towers only captures a miniscule fraction of the total energy in the wind. Probably on a scale of 1/10,000,000,000,000th (est). A medium-sized building in the path of the wind would actually cause more disturbance to the wind than a generator.

Matt Rings

a few dead skyrats ie sea gulls who cares voluntaryist? the bird that lives to sheet on your chest

Bill Bennett

Sorry folks, this question was too imprecise. My fault.

What indeed is true, is that windmills influence the weather on the micro-scale.

More can be read here:



@ Micheal Gene:

Thank you for the interesting link! Its well worth reading.


How many birds are killed by pollution from coal plants? How many people?

How many people are killed by windmills?

John Russell

Geez, Suvilo, if you\'re going to cite something to support your argument, why not something a bit closer to Gizmag?


You want to stop human influence on the weather? Just kill off the entire human race. Failing that, since we\'re here and we need electricity, what\'s wrong with choosing a source that has the fewest damaging effects on the environment?

Has anyone else noticed that since the crisis with the Japanese nuclear reactors began, aggressive pro-nuclear advocate Todd Dunning has been conspicuously silent in Gizmag comments? Not quite so safe an energy source as he kept insisting it was.


Gadgeteer, thank you for the hint with the gizmag article.

And you are right. There is nothing wrong in choosing the least damaging technology for energy supply. I support this just as well.

It should only be said nothing is for free. There are always costs/ damages, even if they are small.

So the thought of inventing more efficient technologies becomes more important, too. This is the correlated challenge, even if we have switched to \"green\" energy.

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