Monthly Archives: August 2014


Franklyns Farm gets a second turbine

Managing Director, Graham Hygate, visited Franklyns Farm on Tuesday 26 August 2014 to witness the installation of an E3120 wind turbine. This is the second wind turbine to be installed on this particular site and Fine Energy have enjoyed working both with the land owner and the Local Planning Authority on this project.

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Are two blades better than three?

Wind turbines are known for having three blades, a design which has been an industry standard for the past 25 years. Now it appears that some companies are considering reducing the number of blades down to two in an attempt to cut costs.

The two bladed turbines will typically be used for offshore installations and the pros of this design include cheaper costs and easier installation. Two-bladed wind turbines are easier to install as the rotors can be preinstalled onshore, and they cost less because they use fewer materials (one less blade’s worth to be exact). Cons? The blades spin faster which makes them louder and the flexibility of the blades can cause them to hit the tower in particularly strong wind conditions.

Investors are taking some convincing, however the Crown Estate has taken a calculated risk and entered a lease deal with Forthwind Limited for the UK’s first offshore demonstration of two-bladed turbines on the seabed at Methil in Scotland. Huub den Rooijen, Head of Offshore Wind at The Crown Estate, has said that these gambles are necessary in order to encourage engineering innovation and ultimately reduce the costs of renewable energy technology. The interest shown by the Crown Estate will surely provide confidence and encourage future investment, helping this new design realise its full potential.

Siemens is ready for Round 3

Siemens is a popular brand in the UK. The multinational engineering and electronics company has designed everything from mobile phones to energy efficient dishwashers and it now looks like Siemens has successfully launched its latest piece of technological sophistication- a 6 MW wind turbine!

In 2008 The Crown Estate announced Round 3 which proposed nine offshore zones of varying sizes and these sites were offered to offshore wind developers. Siemens’ prior involvement in Rounds 1 and 2 made it a key player in Round 3 and this project poses the biggest single opportunity for Siemens Energy anywhere in Europe.

The machine, designed by Siemens, has a 154m diameter rotor and represents the next generation of larger turbines that are expected to produce greater yields than current models. The B75 rotor blade, which measures 75 meters in length, is manufactured from glass fiber-reinforced epoxy resin and balsa wood. After announcing the decision to invest £160 million in wind turbine production and installation facilities in Yorkshire, Siemens looks set to retain its position as market leader in the offshore wind sector.

Windfarm, Little Cheyne Court, Romney Marsh, Kent

Wind turbines on windfarm with sunbeams through clouds at sunset, Little Cheyne Court, Romney Marsh, Kent

“Wind power outperformed coal power”

Whilst the heavy rain and battering winds may have signalled the end of the British summer, it wasn’t all bad news. On Sunday 10 August 2014 the UK’s wind industry set a new hourly output record, delivering an average of 5GW of power over the hour and meeting an impressive 17 per cent of national demand. This increase in renewable energy generation saw wind outperform coal power which provided just 3.2GW. In addition the performance of biomass and hydropower saw a total of 21.5 per cent of power on the grid being provided by renewables.

Fine Energy work on projects which install small and medium scale turbines. The output from these projects will be added to the metered wind farm recordings, meaning the total output from wind turbines could be as much as 20 per cent higher! This performance has shown critics that the National Grid CAN manage high levels of variable renewable energy supplies. Moreover, the shutdown of four EDF nuclear reactors highlights the importance of a clean and balanced energy supply.

It appears that even through the summer months, wind power continues to offer a valuable contribution to the UK’s energy needs and the wind energy capacity looks set to increase with many new onshore and offshore wind farms in planning.