Research Suggests that Bigger Wind Turbines are Greener
The rate at which wind turbines generate energy is largely affected by the current wind speed. This is a fundamental fact that always needs to be remembered each time there is a need to find favorable sites for wind energy generation.
There are still other important factors of course, but there seems to be one very basic element that affects the actual “green factor” of wind turbines: its size. Research seems to suggest, that the bigger wind turbines are, the more they can be considered as green.
The claim that bigger wind turbines meant greener energy came from the result of a recent research that revealed the gradual increase in size of wind turbines through the years. Specifically, part of the study concluded that wind turbines have grown 10 times their original size, from 50 to 500 feet, in the past 30 years. The assumption stems from the direct linking of this “physical growth” to the overall manufacturing and production efficiency increase by wind turbines today (compared to previous designs).
Technically however, we have modern design techniques to actually thank for this connection. You see, even though a larger blade could harness more air, we still have to take account its weight and mass. By designing the turbine using modern techniques and advanced composite materials, we no longer have to worry about the inherent problems in scaling structures upwards. Additionally, making larger wind turbines enables us to strategically save materials, conserve manufacturing costs, and use less fossil fuel energy (for production), by ensuring that it would stay in service longer than smaller wind turbines.
We also have to note that if the trend is to make wind turbines bigger, then we could most likely expect that the number of wind turbine installations would go down. This can be seen as another unseen “green” advantage, as we have previously known that a large number of wind turbine installations could have the potential to actually be harmful to people and its surroundings.
Despite what seems to be a forward trend to make wind turbines bigger and bigger, the research clearly stated that the analysis made by the researchers was only based purely on the data that they currently have. The data extracted from the research does not provide a way to extrapolate future trends in wind turbine design. In other words, there would of course be a technical limit that would place a definite value for a wind turbine’s maximum size.
A bonus part that makes the argument of “bigger is greener” more plausible is that wind energy technology itself hasn’t really changed throughout the years. True, design upgrades may have increased its manufacturing and economic efficiency, but the fact is that it still uses the same basic principle of transforming wind kinetic energy to mechanical and electric energy. This mechanical simplicity, coupled with the technical complexity of modern designs makes larger wind turbines generally better to use than smaller ones a few decades ago.
Reasons to JOIN US include:
- It's absolutely FREE!
- Get Green Tips You MUST know about.
- How to's on going green, saving money, and having fun.
- Keep up-to-date on our posts in cased you missed them.