The arrival of the world’s largest wind turbine – the Haliade-X 12MW on the Maasvlakte – heralds a new phase in the next generation of wind energy at sea. Experts from TNO have performed the assignment of an extensive measurement programme and reporting on behalf of owner GE Renewable Energy. They have received a full type certificate from DNV GL. This helped to make the world's largest wind turbine a reality proofs the turbine lives up to expectations and meets the requirements that have been set. So, the Haliade-X can then be taken into production and installed in large numbers on offshore wind farms.

This is important as at least 11.5 gigawatts of capacity must be installed in the North Sea by 2030. Wind farms with large turbines, such as the Haliade-X, are helping to achieve this ambition. With a capacity of 12 megawatts, it provides more energy than the current most powerful turbine. 67 gigawatts hours gross per year is sufficient for 16,000 European households.

Haliade X achieves full type certificate

Since the Haliade X is in operation, TNO performs measurements for certification as well as research purposes. The measurements have been successful and have contributed to the milestone of achieving a full type certificate from DNV GL. This full type certification, which follows a provisional type certification announced in June 2020, provides independent verification that the new turbines will operate safely, reliably and according to design specifications. TNO is continuing the measurements with the upgrade to 13 MW.

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TNO is one of the few organisations that is accredited to carry out the so-called certification measurements. This year, experts have performed extensive measurements on, in and around the Haliade-X 12MW offshore wind turbine. For TNO, this is a familiar scientific domain, but the unprecedented height (260 metres), blade length (107 metres) and diameter (220 metres) are pushing the boundaries of aerodynamic knowledge. GE’s design and calculations, as well as those of the manufacturers of the blades and other components, will be practically validated by measurements over a period of almost a year.


During the construction of the approximately 150-metre high tower on the Maasvlakte, TNO staff fitted it with numerous sensors to carry out the measurements. The nacelle to which the rotor blades are attached was also fitted with strain gauges, accelerometers and all kinds of other sensors during installation on the tower. During the production of the blades, which are more than 100 metres long, TNO experts at LM Wind Power in Cherbourg fitted various measuring instruments to them. TNO provides a unique combination of knowledge regarding wind, aerodynamics, sensors and models.

Leading the way with knowledge

In addition, a 135-metre high mast will be erected next to the turbine to measure all wind speeds and directions, as well as temperature and humidity, over a period of four seasons. The results of these meteorological measurements will be combined with those of LIDAR, a laser technology. Due to the rotation of the blades, the height of the mast is limited to 135 metres, so this technique is suitable for accurately measuring wind speeds and directions from the tip of the blade to the base. All of these measurements – in numerous places in and around the turbine and combinations thereof – are the first of their kind ever. Thanks to this knowledge, our country remains a global leader. TNO supports GE Renewable Energy in bringing their innovative products to the market in the shortest possible time.

TNO wants to set up a knowledge platform in the Netherlands for measuring wind turbines. Interested companies and knowledge parties from our country and beyond can participate in this platform.

Photo credits: GE Renewable Energy

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