By Jack Rosebro
|The Subaru 80/2.0|
Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd., the parent company of Subaru, announced that it has been testing its newly-developed two-megawatt wind generation system since the beginning of 2006. The prototype of the system, called Subaru 80/2.0, is at Hasaki, Kamisu City, Ibaraki Prefecture, facing the Pacific Ocean.
The three-bladed wind turbine has a controllable pitch and is 62 meters in height from the ground to the rotor hub. The rotor, which has a diameter of 80 meters, can generate electricity at a wind velocity as low as three meters per second—a 25% improvement over similar wind turbines. It was manufactured by Hitachi, a development partner.
The Subaru 80/2.0 is a downwind-type turbine with the rotor placed on the lee (non-windward) side of the tower. Stronger lightning-resistance specifications than the international standards were adopted to reduce troubles by lightning, which is common in coastal areas along the Japan Sea in winter.
The wind turbine was designed to be broken down into smaller parts than conventional turbines, making the equipment easier to transport to an installation site. This could mean that the rotor blades are two-piece; installation of wind turbines is often constricted by the relative feasibility of transporting turbine blades to an intended site.
Last month, General Electric announced a partnership with the US Department of Energy to design a 5 to 7 MW offshore wind turbine (earlier post).