Thursday, March 22, 2007

Germany Turns Out Enormous Wind Turbines

Hong Kong just announced a tiny wind turbine, and now the world’s largest is coming out of Germany. The Repower 5M is an enormous machine, standing nearly 400 feet high and producing 5 MW of power. It has a 400 foot diameter blade span and is the largest and supposedly the most efficient turbine in the world.

Manufactured by Repower Systems out of Hamburg, the first 5M turbine was erected offshore near the coastal city of Brunsbuttel and came online a year ago as a pilot project. Repower believes that they can get double the electricity by siting the turbines offshore rather than on land because of increased speeds and frequency. From Repower:

"Wind farms with turbines of this size achieve outputs similar to conventional power plants. This in turn puts high demands on the control and regulation system because optimised integration into the power grid is essential…The 5M can be integrated without difficulty into the grid, just as any other power plant of its size."

The first permanent proposed site is 15 miles off coast of Scotland in 144 feet of water as part of the Talisman DOWNVIND project supported by the European Union.

Check out Power Engineering International for an involved discussion of 5M's engineering challenges.

Repower Systems
Power Engineering International

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