GE has announced a technology demonstration of a seven-meter blade extension, taking its wind turbines from a 77-meter rotor to a 91-meter rotor. There are currently two prototypes, completed with Noble Environmental Power at the Clinton Wind Park in New York, that have been in operation for 10 months.
GE says the extension increases the swept area of the rotor by 40% and increases the energy production by more than 20%. The technology upgrades GE 1.5-77 turbines to GE 1.5-91 turbines utilizing the entire existing blade asset.
GE says it developed the program to help customers achieve significant increase in power output on their existing fleet while maintaining existing product life and acoustics. Throughout the development of the extensions, the GE team filed more than 16 patent applications and created custom tooling for the extension installation.
"The blade extension program for GE is a great example of the magnitude of technology advancements GE is capable of developing," says Mark Johnson, engineering leader for GE's renewable energy business.