I’m a big fan…

The world’s largest wind turbine has recently been commissioned and it’s HUGE.

The trouble with huge things standing in free space is that it’s very difficult to give them any context to indicate just how huge they are. You need something to relate it to, like these ordinary buildings and the Eiffel Tower:

And so we have to rely on numbers.

China Three Gorges Corporation announced that the 16-megawatt MySE 16-260 turbine had been successfully installed at the company’s offshore wind farm near Fujian Province on July 19. The behemoth is 152 meters (500 feet) tall, and each single blade is 123 meters (403 feet) and weighs 54 tons. This means that the sweep of the blades as they rotate covers an area of 50,000 square meters (nearly 540,000 square feet).

But that still doesn’t really mean much unless you add in some more numbers for context.

So let’s look at a couple of local wind farms and see.

Darling Wind Farm has 4 turbines, darling, each producing a maximum of 1.25MW. That’s only about 8% of the new Chinese beast. And they each have a rotor diameter of 62m. That’s a quarter of this new record holder.

Klipheuwel will be familiar to anyone who does the N2 run from time to time. That’s the 9-turbine wind farm near Caledon. Bigger and more modern than Darling, darling, they look huge, and have a nameplate capacity of 3MW each. That’s 18.75% of the Big Boy above. But actually, they are tiny in size, with a rotor diameter of 113m, versus 246m for the MySE16-260.

Analysts are suggesting that given the speed at which renewable energy technology is progressing, we should expect the next step up to be a 20MW turbine, to be announced before the end of the year.
I can’t wait to see the stats for that one.