The Queen Buys The World’s Largest Wind Turbine: 7.5 Megawatts

clipper_wind_turbine_worlds_largest_75megawatts.jpg
Photo of Clipper’s 2.5 Megawatt turbine — the 7.5 megawatt turbine will be much larger.

The Queen is investing in the world’s largest wind turbine. It’s a prototype of a new line of wind turbines called “The Britannia” which will be produced by Clipper Windpower, based in California. The turbine tower stands about 328 feet, has a diameter of 492 feet, and can generate 7.5 megawatts. Currently, the largest installed wind turbine is the massive Enercon E-126, which is rated at 7 megawatts (see of our previous post here).

The sale was made to the British Crown Estate, which owns most of the seabed off Britain’s shores, regularly leases out its land to wind farm projects but has never invested in the turbines. The prototype turbine is part of Britain’s ambitious goal of generating 33 gigawatts of offshore wind energy by 2020.

The Crown Estate press release says:

This investment will allow The Crown Estate to gain firsthand knowledge of the challenges facing the development of wind turbines specialised for deep water marine deployment as the process of engaging industry to develop the next phase of offshore windfarms begins. If the industry is to reach the current delivery target of a total capacity of up to 33 GW by 2020, this kind of support and research will be invaluable.

In addition to a unique and diverse property portfolio, encompassing urban and rural estates, the marine interests of The Crown Estate include almost the entire UK territorial seabed out to 12 nautical miles and around 55 per cent of the UK’s coastal foreshore. In addition, The Crown Estate has the rights to lease seabed for the generation of renewable energy on the continental shelf within the Renewable Energy Zone which extends out to approximately 200 nautical miles.

Via: Crown Estate Press Release

Comments

  1. Al says

    I think it will probably be 328 feet tall, as if it was meters it would be taller than the Eiffel tower, and over twice the E-126

  2. shane says

    the article states feet

    “The turbine tower stands about 328 feet, has a diameter of 492 feet, and can generate 7.5 megawatts.”

  3. says

    the problem with a roughly 500 foot diamter is that the tip speed of the blade goes supersonic at decent rpm. blades are very Noisy even at mach .8 … i hope these people have thier aero-smarts for such a thing. mach 1 = roughly 1100 ft/sec – circumference of a 492 foot rotor at tip is 1545 feet . Tip speed is going to take some fancy airfoil design.

    • confirmedrealist says

      There are HUNDREDS of them in West Texas and they make very little noise. Much queter than a generator or a power plant.

  4. says

    Hi there, i am a company in uk and operate in
    africa also, i am much into renewable energy
    [solar panels and windturbines], i would like
    to have some informations on this 7.5mw wind turbine, and the estimated costing of it, and whether the blades can come longer and do they really have to travel at 180kph , and how long
    does it take to build such a magnificient monster. Thanks

  5. Rene Thoeni says

    This article should be printed in many newspaper as there is still much misunderstanding about windpower and the immense technical advances that has bin made.
    Even within the industry much has to be done in way of education to maintain the modern generators, gearboxes and brakes.
    This article is well written for the average person to understand and keep up the good work.

    Best regards,
    Rene Thoeni
    ALPINE TECHNOLOGY INC.

  6. Aaron says

    The facts on this article are a little off. The Enercon E-126 has a 126 meter rotor diameter (413 feet). Also the revolution per min of these blades is 12 rpm. 1297.48 feet circumferance so at 12*1297.48 * 60 min/hr =934183.99 feet per hour. 934183.99ft / 5280 ft/mile = 176.92 miles per hour way less than the 654.6 mph (speed of sound).

  7. says

    ‘Propeller Towers’ are not new or perfectable means of deriving power from wind. Yes they work, and the “Spruce Goose” did fly, but it was proven after decades of denials, that ‘Propeller ‘ designs were not the optimum means of Aviation propulsion except for helicopters. After all air is a fluid according to Bernoulli’s theory, and in wind, air flows parallel to the Earth, so its’ optimal force , capture and utility require a vertical axis ‘True Turbine.’ The very trend of pawning off ‘Propeller Towers’ as ‘Wind Turbines’ is itself a perversion or the definition of ‘Turbine.’ Propellers with airfoil design and lift coefficients were indeed ‘New ‘ over a hundred years ago enabling powered air flight, but its designers then conceded there were limits. So, in a few years when the financing sinks in and the problems leak out, will developing real Wind “TURBINES” become a sudden fad surpassing Propeller Towers’ like “JET” aircraft for commercial aviation finally caught on in the ’60′s and even into the ’70′s after about 30 years of ‘telling them so!’ Optimum wind force capture utilizing vertical axis, multiple contoured, proportionally large sail fins, with an open center integral generator hub, conforms to directional flows with ever the same rotational compatibility and gyroscopic stability. This increases cost efficiency many ways. We are not the only ones aware of these advantages, but the “Propeller Tower’ promotors are chasing the wind for their own profits, and cheap and reliable power generation does not generate huge profits and get big attention like the Fad and Trend of ‘Big Wind,’ like mindless crowds waving at a Rock Show!
    ‘Big Bucks,’ ‘Big Risk’ global capital ventures that end up producing “Big and Bigger Excuses,” like, “where did all that money go?” they can simply say…
    “oh, it must have all just blown away!” It is like snobs in the auto market. The more ‘expensive,’ the more ‘prestigeous,’ and the costly ‘exotic,’ always needing more repairs and “Refinements.’ These models are the ones most desireed and are of course the most expensive. Odd how evolved Icons like “Cadillac, Lamborgini, Rolls Royce”are ‘not for everyone, but they are basicly ‘Cars.” Now the Queen of England must have, of course, the biggest new model Wind tower. You’d think it was a competition for new “S U V’s! I guess they do look like “Mercedes” emblems though, maybe that’s it!

  8. cb says

    Observation: Why are the so called “moral majority” types so quick to accuse anyone in favor of alternative energy a “lib” or a a “green”? So if you want to stop sending $’s overseas to buy oil or enrich some Coal fatcat who wants to level half your county to get the coal out you are automatically a “lib”? Boneheads!

  9. Ben Goble says

    in Response to the comments left by Advanced Designs, Inc/ Isaac Kepler, whilst it may be true that vertical axis turbines could potentially produce more energy, the current reality is that they are less efficient than their propellor counterparts. Once the design of these surpasses propellors I’m sure they shall become the main focus of wind power.

  10. M. S. Nunn says

    If they are out to sea at least they are not damaging our landscapes. Prince Charles has written passionately about the built environment and how it impacts the psyche. Wind turbines are like the creatures from War of the Worlds. They are like putting up huge skyscapers in rural areas … totally inappropriate. And all this is being done for what reason? To maintain current electricity consumption patterns.

    Well, my friends, the feasibility of these turbines reducing the need for conventional power sources is an illusion. This is just another crazy scheme that will have its bust cycle, and not too far off either. Lower-consuming lifestyles might sound unsexy, but that is what we will all be dealing with in the future. Polluting our environments with expensive, destructive wind turbines will not forestall an inevitable economic transformation.

  11. G says

    @ Isaac Kepler – Turbines may be more efficient, but they’re also noisier. Likely they are also more expensive to maintain and build.

  12. says

    Mid Wales has 600 wind turbines planned for the area. When you investigate the materials used, (steel for the 400 feet high towers, copper for the generator and base transformer, copper and aluminium to connect them all together, also timber for the pylons and cables needed to connect to the national grid and hundreds of thousands of tons of concrete to make the foundations. You soon begin to realise that this apparently green initiative is perhaps a folly.

    A ‘distributed’ system has a much greater impact on resources, the landscape and natural reserves that would unquestionably be best used for other things to protect as well as promote humanity rather than to generate the power to run our televisions and charge the batteries in our Ipods. We could as just one example plant forests to absorb CO2 and provide timber for building and burning for energy.

    If something is only 30% efficient at producing power as is a wind turbine, then it is only acceptable to use as an energy source if it has negligable impact on the planet as quite obviously we are going to need rather a lot of them to be of any use. We need at least 1170 of them to equate to one nuclear power station, the construction vehicles to erect them all will travel millions of miles in the process, hundreds of thousands of tons of steel, tens of thousands of tons of copper must be mined from millions of tons of earth. It must all be transported, processed and transported again to site. All of this uses immense amounts of energy..

    And of course, we also need some kind of supporting power generator for days when the wind does not blow.

    Let us spend our time, money and human effort on reducing our energy consumption so that we may buy our selves the time to find a solution that our children would be proud to inherit and not embarressed to look at whenever they travel through what will be left of our countrside.

    Andy Burgess.
    Dolfor.

  13. shawn richardson says

    hey if you ever need some one to put them up and comission them for you get ahold of me , Iam currently a T/A Comissioner for mitsubishi power systems and have plenty of experience in the wind industry. between me and my brother who is the regional manager for integrated power resources im sure you would be more then satisfied with the quality of work and the experience that we could provide you with best regards shawn richardson

  14. W says

    Aren’t jet engines the same airflow direction rotation as propeller airplanes? What a comparison was that?

    The fact is Wind Energy grows out to be more competitive with oil-based electricity generation. These costs include the transportation costs of all the materials, which are also embedded in the current electricity generation cost. It’s not like those costs were paid by no one or flew with the wind.

    Yes, there are many downsides to Wind Energy and those ugly turbines, but so have each and every one of our energy transformation systems (even solar power, or nuclear power). Problems are there to be solved. I guess we should find a happy middle.

    Reducing the personal consumption is also a short term goal. Hard to implement in a third world country with much more immediate needs.

  15. Frans says

    @Andy

    In less than half a year a windturbine generates enough electricity to compensate for the energy it has cost to manufacture, build the windturbine and even the cost of demoslishing and recycling it again in the future.

    One other thing: you are confusing efficiency with production factor.

    Finally, I prefer looking at an elegant wind turbine over leaving an heritage to our future generations that exists of nuclear waste that will remain dangerous for 360000 years.

  16. M. S. Nunn says

    @Frans

    I don’t know what elegant wind turbines you have seen, but the ones I have seen are monsters. They totally dominate the landscape and many wind developments have dozens of turbines and some have over one hundred.

    The experience of nations with significant installed wind energy is that it does not reduce reliance on conventional sources. I do not support nuclear, but this is not an issue of wind vs.nuclear, or wind vs. coal. We will still have nuclear and coal sources of electricity.

    The only solution to reduce the negative extenralities of electricity-generation is increased energy efficiency and conservation.

    • Wicho says

      Thomas, this is one of the important challenges in offshore turbines. Land and offshore turbines are not the same although they look the same, they have significant design differences.

  17. Cogitatus Maximus says

    I see that Rosenbloom is being used as an anti-wind reference. There are many concerns about the objectivity and accuracy of his information, as well as the ethical standards of the organization he represents.
    Wind Watch Web site and Rosenbloom want your money for our work
    http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/article/20100224/BLOGS03/100229882/-1//BLOGS03
    Eric Rosenbloom Distortions
    http://www.lioffshorewindenergy.org/index.php?module=pagemaster&PAGE_user_op=view_page&PAGE_id=13

    • Wicho says

      Thanks for this info, I will give it a further look thereafter. There are valid concerns regarding wind turbines, but I can tell you that these are not. Anyway, it is like basing concerns of airplanes of the WWII as to avoid using planes today, when they are totally a different thing.

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