VACUTAP® VRD for the world’s largest offshore wind park


The world’s largest offshore wind park and the first of the 1-gigawatt class is currently being built about 20 kilometers off the coast of Essex (England) by order of the power companies Dong Energy, E.ON and Masdar. Siemens Dresden will supply four transformers for the offshore transformer station of the mega wind park called “London Array.” And inside the transformers, MR on-load tap-changers of the VACUTAP® series will ensure constant voltage conditions.

The four transformers manufactured in Dresden are intended for two transformer platforms which are currently being built in Antwerp. As soon as they are completed, the transformer platforms will be towed to the wind park off the British coast and installed. There they will bundle the power gained from the energy provided by the wind before it is transported via high-voltage undersea cable to the coast.

After commissioning, the Siemens transformers will step up the voltage of the wind turbines from 33 kilovolts to a transmission voltage of 150 kilovolts. MR’s proven VACUTAP® VRD on-load tap-changers will handle the regulation of the transformers. Due to fluctuating wind conditions, on-load tap-changers must perform switching operations very frequently. Since they do not require maintenance until after 300,000 switching operations, MR vacuum technology is the first choice for this application.

After completion which is planned for the year 2012, the wind park built on 245 square kilometers will supply approximately 750,000 British households with renewably generated current. With 175 turbines and a capacity of 630 megawatt, “London Array” will be the world’s largest offshore wind park. In its final configuration, 1,000 MW of current are to be actually generated.

w.fleischmann@reinhausen.com