NewEnergyNews: Big Wind Gets Bigger

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    Thursday, June 29, 2017

    Big Wind Gets Bigger

    World’s Largest Wind Turbine Would Be Taller Than the Empire State Building; Massive, flexible blades would bend with storm winds like the palm trees that inspired them

    Annie Sneed, June 26, 2017 (Scientific American)

    “…[Renewable energy] capacity has more than tripled in the past nine years, and wind and solar power are largely responsible. Now businesses want to harness even more wind energy, at a cheaper price—and one of the best ways to lower cost is to build bigger turbines. That’s why an alliance of six institutions led by researchers at the University of Virginia are designing the world’s largest wind turbine at 500 meters tall—almost a third of a mile high, and about 57 meters taller than the Empire State Building…[T]oday’s typical wind farm towers stand around 70 meters tall…[Their power output] ranges between one and five megawatts…[Taller turbines are more cost-effective because] wind blows stronger and more steadily at greater altitudes…[L]onger turbine blades also catch the wind more efficiently, and taller towers enable lengthier blades…[The new design would be] a 50-megawatt system with blades 200 meters long…[It] faces challenges…How do you make 200-meter blades? How do you put them together? How do you erect such a tall tower?...” click here for more

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