10 Jun '11, 4pm

The race to build the world’s most improbably gigantic—and efficient—wind turbine

Modern wind turbines already have blades as big as the wings of jumbo jets, and the tips of them can move at up to 200 mph . Now Britain's Energy Technologies Institute wants to nearly double the generating capacity of the world's largest wind turbines by making the blades EVEN MORE PHENOMENALLY HUGE. Bigger turbines mean more power. On the drawing board is a monster of a windmill, with blades 295 feet in length, a third longer than the largest currently in use, which top out at around 197 feet. Big turbines potentially mean cheaper electricity: “This project is based on our earlier studies which identified that the most cost-effective size for a horizontal axis turbine is likely to be between 8 and 10 MW with significantly larger blades than scaling up current turbines would typically give,” he said “Investing in this project to develop much larger, more efficient blades ...

Full article: http://www.grist.org/list/2011-06-10-the-race-to-build-th...

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