With a growing demand for cleaner energy, there is a spurt in the development of wind turbines as well. Just a few months ago, we told you about a wind turbine that could power a home for two days with just a single spin. Now, a Chinese clean energy company has unveiled the world's biggest wind turbine that can power 20,000 households every year.
According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates, the cost of producing energy from on-shore sites is $31 per MWh (MegaWatthour). This is quite comparable to solar as well as geothermal sources of energy production. However, when you build the facility off-shore, the high costs of construction increase the unit MWh costs to a whopping, $115. As countries look to reduce the costs of construction, making bigger wind turbines that offer higher production capacity, might just be the way.
Guangdong, China-based Mingyang Smart Energy Group has unveiled a 16 MegaWatt (MW) wind turbine. With 10 Gigawatts of wind-based power production, already under its belt, the company has invested its experience in building a bigger version of its wind turbines that are already available in 5.5 MW, 6.45 MW, 7.25 MW, 8.3 MW to 11 MW configurations.
The 16MW turbine is named MySE 16.0-242 and has a 793 feet (242 m) diameter. Each of its blades is 387 feet (118 m) long and the turbine sweeps an area of approximately 500,000 square feet (46,000 square meters). As compared to its predecessor, the 11 MW, mySE 11.0, the MySE16's rotor diameter has increased only 19 percent. However, the company claims, its power output has increased by 45 percent.
Each turbine is expected to generate 80000MWh of electricity every year, enough to power 20,000 households. Additionally, each turbine will avoid the emission of 1.6 million tonnes of carbon dioxide during its 25-year lifespan, the company said. The company's research and development efforts have ensured that the bigger turbine still has a modest mass. This allows for reduced costs of construction when compared to other wind turbines in this segment.
The company also claims to have transferred the power electronics and transformer to the turbine's nacelle to aid easy maintenance. Additionally, it has also redesigned the nacelle which is now air-tight and cools internally while also protecting the equipment from saltwater sprays that corrode it. The prototype of the turbine is expected to be rolled out in 2022 and either be installed on the seafloor or placed on a floating base.
Like the WindCatcher, mySE 16.0 also offers higher energy production with a lesser footprint.