A new construction at a test center in Østerild, Denmark has become the largest wind turbine in the world.
Well, that title depends on which criteria determine "largest." If rotor diameter is your rule, Siemens's latest, the SWT-6.0-154, has surpassed the previous holder, the second-generation Enercon E126, by over two dozen feet. While the E126 has approximately a 127-meter rotor diameter, Siemens's new offshore wind turbine boasts a 154-meter rotor diameter--and its immense 75-meter long blades combined with its 4-meter wide hub means a massive swept area of 18,600 square meters.
With a 6MW turbine, under the most optimal conditions, the new model will produce around 65 percent more electricity than earlier models from the company. This SWT-6.0-154 won't be a lonely giant for long; according to Gizmodo, Siemens plans to construct 300 more of these massive machines.
The massive blades for this new turbine are built as a single piece, without heavy fittings and connections, allowing a weight savings of 20 percent. This will likely be a greater benefit for offshore turbines like this, since enormously long single piece blades are hard to transport over land.
The size isn't simply for world-record showiness. The larger the wind turbine, the more energy produced, according to a study by Swiss and Dutch Scientists, accounting for both size and the improved technology over time. Constructing massive offshore wind farms makes scaling up easier and makes harnessing wind energy more cost effective. Since expensive underwater foundations are needed to support these turbines, having larger but fewer wind turbines will reduce production costs.
Image via Siemens
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