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MHI begins Verification Testing of World’s First Digital Hydraulic Drive Train for Offshore Wind Turbines in UK

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries have begun onshore verification testing of a large-scale (MWT167H/7.0) digital hydraulically driven offshore wind turbine at the Hunterston Test Centre in the United Kingdom. The wind turbine operation at the Hunterston site is a world’s first for a large-scale wind turbine with a hydraulic drive train controlled by Digital Displacement. The wind turbine was constructed at the site by assembling the nacelle and other core components transported to the UK from MHI’s Yokohama Dockyard & Machinery Works (Kanazawa Plant) and European locations. The rotor blades are 81.6 meters (m) long, with a rotor diameter of 167m. Rotor hub height is approximately 110m, and overall tip height is close to 200m.

The test turbine at Hunterston is a 7MW unit featuring a Digital Displacement controlled hydraulic drive train in its power transmission system. This technology was developed jointly by MHI and Artemis Intelligent Power, a venture firm acquired by MHI in 2010. Equipped with this system, the wind turbine converts wind energy by a combination of pumps and motors to produce a constant speed irrespective of the blade rotation speed, eliminating the need for a step-up gearbox, complex generator technology and power inverter.

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