Raquel Salavessa – Diretor of the Rotor Blade Extension Department and legal representative of Energiekontor’s wind farms in Portugal, was interviewed by the Portuguese Magazine País Positivo about the RBE project.
Raquel Salavessa spoke about the Energiekontor’s Development Department – Rotor Blade Extension
WHICH IS ENEGIEKONTOR’S CORE BUSINESS?
Our main activity is the development, construction and operation of wind farms, but we integrate other areas of activity, which not only serve Energiekontor’s internal needs, but are also directed at the external market, namely the RBE department, which is based in Portugal and which I am responsible for.
Besides this department, the subsidiary in Portugal provides assistance to the wind farms which are in operation, in different areas, being a “fronting” for our operations department, which is based in Bremerhaven, Germany.
WHAT DOES THIS NEW PROJECT CONSIST IN?
The RBE is an extension of the blade tip, increasing the area of the turbine rotor and, consequently, the production.
The RBE project began in 2009 and its main objectives are the performance optimization of the wind farms owned and operated by Energiekontor and being commercialized to other wind farms on an international level.
THIS INNOVATION IS EXCLUSIVE OF ENERGIEKONTOR. WHEN DID YOU FEEL THE NEED TO INNOVATE IN THIS SECTOR?
The RBE, with the characteristics it presents, is an exclusive product, patented by Energiekontor. The idea to create an RBE derived from the need to compensate for the poor production of some of Energiekontor’s wind farms.
This product, after its prototype phase, is now being installed in mass in our wind farms. At the moment, we have a marketing strategy in place in order to potentiate the commercialization of the RBE in the external market.
WHEN WAS THE FIRST PROTOTYPE SET UP?
The first prototype was set up in 2009, in Germany. In 2014 we set up two other prototypes in Portugal, on a different turbine. At the moment, we are developing two other prototypes, which we intend to set up in 2016-2017 in Germany, Portugal and the United Kingdom.
We have already moved on from the prototype phase to the product phase and are beginning the mass installation of 26 Energiekontor machines in Portugal.
CAN YOU ALREADY FEEL THAT THE MARKET LOOKS FOR THE RBE PRODUCTS?
Yes, we have already been contacted by some important companies, inside and outside of Europe, and are at the moment making contacts for the external commercialization of the RBE.
WHICH IS THE PERCENTAGE OF EFFICIENCY INCREASE AFTER THE ASSEMBLY OF THE RBE?
It always depends on the machine and the local conditions where the wind farm is is set up. For the RBE type BONUS 1.0MW, the increase is about 7%, proven in our farms in Germany, and for the RBE type BONUS 1.3MW, the increase is about 6%, in the farms in Portugal. The next prototypes will have a production increase of about 9%.
WHAT DOES THE NEW PROTOTYPE CONSIST IN?
Its basis and concept are the same, i.e. the blade tip is extended, but the approach is different. The project is in its final stages and we will now begin the prototype’s load test, production and assembly phase. With this product, we intend to increase a wind farms production by about 9%.
WHAT IS THE APPLICATION FOR THE RBE PRODUCTS?
As a rule, the RBE can be applied to all kinds of machines, which can bear the load increase deriving from the assembly of a specific RBE. Generically speaking, it is considered that a turbine always has load reserves when the IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) class of the turbine is higher than the IEC class which characterizes the site where the wind farms is set up. This load reserve can be used by the RBE up to the turbine’s effort limit.