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MHI Vestas co-CEO: V164 platform viable well into the 20's

"We are confident about being able able to squeeze much more out of the platform," says co-CEO.

MHI Vestas announces even more potential for its V164 turbine, which has already been upgraded four times – from 1 MW to 10 MW, says MHI Vestas co-CEO Lars Bondo Krogsgaard in connection with the latest upgrade from 9.5 MW to 10 MW, which was announced earlier this week.

He says that it is possible to further upgrade the platform without altering its composition too much.

"We are confident that we can get more out this platform well into the 2020's. At some point or another, we will need to take a leap, but there is room still," says Krogsgaard, adding:

"It is also important that we consistently offer improvements upon the technology but are able to do so without introducing too much added risk. We are therefore cautious about developing things thoroughly before sending them to market."

Gears make it easier

The latest upgrade includes a larger transmission and improved cooling of the converter. For the long term, the company will also look into substituting other components – and possibly add longer turbine blade, Krogsgaard says.

The later item can quickly provide larger capacity but also increased weight and stresses on other parts of the turbine.

There are things we will do while underway. It is a question of planning in a prudent order so we can slowly but surely offer improved products without having to make giant technological strides that are always associated to risk," says Krogsgaard.

The fact the turbine is designed with a transmission – in opposition to Siemens Gamesa's transmission-less turbines – makes it easier to upgrade incrementally.

"There are advantages and disadvantages, however, we have decided that it's better for us to have something to develop in an evolutionary way without taking a giant leap. We do believe that we can get much more out of this platform," says Lars Bondo Krogsgaard.

As much as 13 MW?

The co-CEO is not willing to put a figure to the platform's capacity. According to analysts, consensus is that it can be upgraded to 12 MW if they succeed in installing longer blades. And 13 MW may not be impossible.

 Initially, MHI Vestas puts the two-digit turbine in play in connection with 10 MW for offshore projects that are to be completed by 2021.

English Edit: Daniel Frank Christensen & Lisa Castey Hall Nielsen

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