Wind Energy

Published on January 24th, 2009 | by Ariel Schwartz

21

Germany Unleashes World's Toughest Wind Turbines

January 24th, 2009 by  

The first turbines designed specifically for offshore wind energy are finally ready for deployment in Germany after 10 years of development. Areva’s turbines are waterproofed, light, and have a simplified design— meaning they are easy to install and maintain. At full power, each 5MW turbine can supply enough energy for 5,000 homes.

The 120m blades are reinforced with carbon fiber to make them as light as possible, and all of the mechanisms needed to change their position are encased to prevent damage from sea air. In case of technical failure, sensors and power management systems are installed in duplicate.

Additionally, the turbine’s generator and engineering components are hermetically sealed.

Areva plans on installing 6 of the 90m tall turbines as part of Germany’s first offshore wind project, located 45km off the island of Borkum. The turbines should be completed by the end of this summer.

Photo Credit: Multibrid


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About the Author

was formerly the editor of CleanTechnica and is a senior editor at Co.Exist. She has contributed to SF Weekly, Popular Science, Inhabitat, Greenbiz, NBC Bay Area, GOOD Magazine, and more. A graduate of Vassar College, she has previously worked in publishing, organic farming, documentary film, and newspaper journalism. Her interests include permaculture, hiking, skiing, music, relocalization, and cob (the building material). She currently resides in San Francisco, CA.



  • Joe

    This is great, can’t wait for more and more cities/countrys/states to partake in this great thing of nature, allowing the land to heal itself from the posions over time.

  • Joe

    This is great, can’t wait for more and more cities/countrys/states to partake in this great thing of nature, allowing the land to heal itself from the posions over time.

  • Joe

    This is great, can’t wait for more and more cities/countrys/states to partake in this great thing of nature, allowing the land to heal itself from the posions over time.

  • Chris

    I would like to know what their expected lifetime is. It makes a big difference to any argument about energy in vs. energy out.

  • Chris

    I would like to know what their expected lifetime is. It makes a big difference to any argument about energy in vs. energy out.

  • Jan Helmer

    Is there anything known about the effect of huge turbine and huge wind farms on their environment. They must have an influence on wind speeds and direction in their hinterland. Are there effects on bird nesting, pollen transport etc etc etc (you name it)?

    I’m just curious

  • Jan Helmer

    Is there anything known about the effect of huge turbine and huge wind farms on their environment. They must have an influence on wind speeds and direction in their hinterland. Are there effects on bird nesting, pollen transport etc etc etc (you name it)?

    I’m just curious

  • Dre

    @blubadger –

    the blades in question here are arranged in a triangle – actually visible in the photo – not in a cross where 120 M could have been the diameter. One of the pieces of the information in the story is off – my guess is the blade length, which might actually be 120 ft long, not 120 meters – and which would fit comfortably on a 60M tower.

    In any case, Paul’s question remains a good one.

  • Dre

    @blubadger –

    the blades in question here are arranged in a triangle – actually visible in the photo – not in a cross where 120 M could have been the diameter. One of the pieces of the information in the story is off – my guess is the blade length, which might actually be 120 ft long, not 120 meters – and which would fit comfortably on a 60M tower.

    In any case, Paul’s question remains a good one.

  • Dre

    @blubadger –

    the blades in question here are arranged in a triangle – actually visible in the photo – not in a cross where 120 M could have been the diameter. One of the pieces of the information in the story is off – my guess is the blade length, which might actually be 120 ft long, not 120 meters – and which would fit comfortably on a 60M tower.

    In any case, Paul’s question remains a good one.

  • James

    Great to see these turbines being placed so far offshore. So we can have windpower and not ruin coastal landscapes or endanger biodiversity in shallow waters. A win win for the environment hopefully

  • James

    Great to see these turbines being placed so far offshore. So we can have windpower and not ruin coastal landscapes or endanger biodiversity in shallow waters. A win win for the environment hopefully

  • usd6

    This sounds like something is beneficial to the environment, very good! Should have more people to join, thank you!

  • Blubadger

    @Paul. If the blades are 120m, then the tower only needs to be 120÷2=60m for the blades to clear the ground.

  • Blubadger

    @Paul. If the blades are 120m, then the tower only needs to be 120÷2=60m for the blades to clear the ground.

  • Dan

    The original story states the blades are 120M in diameter.

  • Dan

    The original story states the blades are 120M in diameter.

  • Paul

    I don’t mean to nit-pick but if the blades are 120m long how can the tower only be 90m tall?

  • Paul

    I don’t mean to nit-pick but if the blades are 120m long how can the tower only be 90m tall?

  • Rif

    The off-shore wind farm where these turbines will be placed is:

    http://www.alpha-ventus.de/

    What is special about this wind farm is that it is placed record far off-shore, 45km from land. This gives optimal stable wind conditions that can exploited by the big 5MW turbines generating at peak capacity 3800h/year (>40% efficiency).

    Wikipedia (in German)

    http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alpha_ventus

  • Rif

    The off-shore wind farm where these turbines will be placed is:

    http://www.alpha-ventus.de/

    What is special about this wind farm is that it is placed record far off-shore, 45km from land. This gives optimal stable wind conditions that can exploited by the big 5MW turbines generating at peak capacity 3800h/year (>40% efficiency).

    Wikipedia (in German)

    http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alpha_ventus

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