Shanghai Electric is riding on the growing momentum of China's 8MW offshore turbine market, which is expected to see the grid-connected wind power surging to 26GW by the end of 2025, to accelerate R&D and deliver the world-leading renewable energy solutions.
In an interview with BloombergNEF, Pengju Kang, chief digital officer and engineering general manager at Shanghai Electric Wind Power Group (SEWPG), said the company is currently building a test and verification platform for 10 megawatt-plus offshore wind turbines.
“We are exploring 5G and industrial internet of things (IIoT) to establish an integrated system for renewable energy combining wind, solar power and energy storage,” said Kang.
He added: "There will be a strong demand for floating units in the far-reaching and deep-sea market in China, as these areas account for more than 80% of total offshore wind resources. We are exploring how to break through technical challenges such as the lower limit of water depth for the application of floating turbines and the marine environment of far-reaching sea area and strong typhoons," he added.
Off on a good start
In June, Shanghai Electric launched China's first 8MW offshore wind turbine, which features "black start" technology. This milestone shows that the energy provider can now undertake bulk orders in the market for 8MW offshore wind turbines.
The company also then unveiled its plan to further explore renewable energy-based integrated energy systems—combining wind, solar power and energy storage systems, coupled with a 5G+ industrial internet of things.
The 8MW-167 offshore turbine is the wind turbine in operation with the highest capacity in China. The 8MW turbine is the outcome of an agreement inked in March 2018 with Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy (SGRE), which gives the company a license to produce and sell SGRE's 8.0-167DD offshore machines in the Chinese market.
The 8MW offshore wind turbine features 81.4-metre blades, producing a rotor diameter of 167 meters and a swept area of 21,900 square meters. It was tested onshore at the Shantou Haojiang offshore industrial park. The demonstration project for an integrated clean energy solution also features a 4MW offshore wind turbine and 2.42MW rooftop photovoltaics.
It also incorporates energy storage, charging pile equipment with a 2MWh capacity, a set of intelligent building environment control system, 5G+ industrial internet of things, microgrid control centre and energy management system, among all other elements.
The solution has been modified to address conditions across the Asia-Pacific region such as typhoons, and tropical storms which could seriously damage the grid infrastructure and even lead to blackouts of the area. The restoration of the microgrid from a black start condition is therefore important to microgrid operators. With "black start", the smart energy project provides a strong guarantee for the stable operation of the industrial park.
The Shanghai Electric Project team used lithium batteries as a supporting power source, so the Power Conversion System can regulate the voltage and frequency to the reference value. When the 8MW turbine goes into an idle state which synchronises and connects to the microgrid bus voltage, and the wind reaches the cut in speed, the wind turbine officially starts power generation, then the team can increase the load while retaining the system frequency, until the microgrid is operating at full load mode.
Meanwhile, SEWPG is also expending global footprints, with customised special units based on 2.5MW and 4MW product platforms for overseas onshore wind energy markets.
The company is now developing models suitable for the 60Hz power grid overseas to meet the regional demand in countries such as Japan, the US and Canada.
As the global supply chains have closely integrated into China's wind power ecosystem, Shanghai Electric has built strategic partnerships with international companies in almost every segment of the value chain including generators, gearboxes, bearings, digital tools and platforms for R&D and design.