World’s Tallest Wind Turbine Built In Germany
- German company Max Bögl Wind AG has built the world’s tallest wind turbine. The turbine ‘hub’ is 178m (584ft) tall, and the tower’s total height – to the tips of the upward extended blades – is 246.5m (809ft).
- For every meter increase in turbine height, annual energy output is increased 0.5-1% due to lower turbulence and higher wind speeds.
- The wind turbines are located in Gaildorf, Germany. The project cost €70M ($81M) and is expected to generate €6.5M ($7.6M) revenue per year. It is part of a ‘water battery’ pilot project.
- The single turbine that is the tallest is part of a group of four units with heights ranging from 155-178m (508-584ft). Atop each of the individual towers is a “GE 3.4-137” 3.4MW generator. The developers believe the units will average about 10,500MWh/year – an approximate capacity factor of 34.4%. An average US household uses about 10MWh/year.
- Max Bögl Wind AG specializes in building some of the world’s tallest turbines. Its System 160+(pdf) is able to gain these heights because it “includes a new segment geometry in the pre-stressed concrete tower base section and cylindrical rings used as middle sections.”
- This project’s unique combination with a 40m (131ft) tall water tower is what pop’s these turbines to their record heights. The water towers are used as higher altitude reservoirs that are part of a pumped storage hydroelectric power station located 200m below the turbines. Wind power, at strategic moments, is used to pump water against gravity to store it in the reservoirs.
- When needed, the water will be released to drive an electric current. The pumped storage plant can switch between producing electricity for the grid and storing water for later in 30 seconds. The reservoir has a storage capacity of 70MWh. A single US household can run on, roughly, this volume of energy storage for about seven years.
-John Fitzgerald Weaver
- Nov. 2nd 2017