In March 2019, Shanghai Electric Wind Power Group (SEWPG), the largest offshore wind turbine supplier in China, planted the seeds of its first overseas R&D-center with the ambition to build the best-in-class innovation hub located in the heart of the global wind industry in Denmark. In the spirit of this overseas ambition, the new center was named the “European Innovation Center”.
CEO of SEWPG European Innovation Center, Xiaogang Meng, travelled to Denmark to build the center from scratch with great support from partners in Denmark.
“When we first came to Denmark, we knew nothing, but we had passion and high hopes of this project. I could feel we had landed in the right place. It was truly hard work to get to this point, but looking back I am really proud of how much we have accomplished in such short time”. (Xiaogang Meng, CEO).
Since its three years of establishement, the SEWPG European Innovation Center has successfully attracted many highly-skilled engineers and grown out of its first small sprout box in INCUBA Aarhus to a large brand-new office in Skejby. Today, the European Innovation Center houses 25+ employees advancing wind turbine design in four main areas: Blade design, load calculation, advanced control and digital engineering.
This March, the SEWPG European Innovation Center could finally open its doors for a grand celebration of its three years’ anniversary. As part of the open house, a grand exhibition was revealed to showcase and celebrate the young center’s major achievements. The exhibition shows several of the center’s innovation projects, including in-house developed simulation tools, a concept model of a splitblade joint technology and a two-meter wide airfoil recently tested in collaboration with DTU at the Poul la Cour Wind Tunnel. The airfoil was the largest airfoil section ever to be tested at DTU’s Wind Tunnel, and it is part of a new state-of the art airfoil family developed for next generation 10MW+ wind turbine blades.
The airfoil innovation is part of the European Innovation Center’s proudest developments, the S102 Blade, which was the first blade in the Chinese market larger than 100 meters. The blade was designed for optimised efficiency and effective utilization of carbon fibers and went all the way into production. With an 11MW capacity, it can generate renewable energy for thousands of Chinese households.
“That’s the unique thing when you build something from scratch. You get to rethink and design how innovation is carried out. We have worked really hard in these three years to create a work environment that facilitates creativity and innovation. Actually, I think us being a fairly small center and our close cross-team collaboration has been the key to how we can develop innovation design so fast.” (Xiaogang Meng).
Looking toward the future, the European Innovation Center will continue development of cutting-edge wind turbine technology focusing on splitblade segmentation technology, floating turbines and P2X while exploring and strengthening cooperation with partners in the Danish Wind industry, striving to introduce local suppliers to the Chinese market in the ultimate pursuit of win-win cooperation.