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China Installs World’s First 18MW Semi-Direct Drive Offshore Wind Turbine

In a significant leap for renewable energy, the world’s largest offshore wind turbine, an 18-megawatt semi-direct drive unit, has been successfully installed at the coastal wind power test base in Shantou City, Guangdong Province. This groundbreaking installation sets a new global benchmark in offshore wind power capacity.

World First 18MW semi-direct-drive offshore wind turbine

Developed independently by Dongfang Electric Corporation, this colossal turbine boasts a rotor diameter of 260 meters and a blade sweep area exceeding 53,000 square meters—equivalent to 7.4 standard football fields. Each rotation of the turbine generates 38 kilowatt-hours of electricity. Remarkably, a single unit can produce up to 72 million kilowatt-hours annually, enough to meet the electricity needs of approximately 36,000 households. This impressive output also translates into substantial environmental benefits, saving over 22,000 tons of standard coal and reducing carbon dioxide emissions by more than 59,000 tons each year.

The turbine’s core component, the 18.X megawatt permanent magnet semi-direct drive generator, is engineered for low vibration, low noise, and uniform temperature rise. Its innovative modular transmission chain design integrates the shaft system, gearbox, and generator, enhancing both reliability and efficiency. This advanced design also ensures excellent adaptability to the power grid.

This installation not only reduces the number of turbines required in a wind farm but also significantly cuts down on construction and maintenance costs, marking a major advancement in the field of offshore wind energy.

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