Clean Power walney offshore wind farm

Published on April 1st, 2013 | by Nicholas Brown


1,000-Foot-Tall Wind Turbine To Be Erected

April 1st, 2013 by  

An enormous wind turbine, dubbed the “Riesenmühle,” is to be erected in Hamburg, Germany. It is 1,000 feet tall, and the blades span 600 feet. The German name literally translates to “giant mill,” which suits it perfectly.

walney offshore wind farm

Image Credit: Dong Energy

The wind turbine has an electricity generation capacity of 40 MW, which means that it has a very high power-to-height ratio, and can power a whopping 13,333 homes by itself, at peak power production.

It costs $48 million to manufacture. This translates to a reasonable cost of $1.20 per watt of generation capacity.

In the past, we have discussed the importance of height to the performance of wind turbines, due to the fact that wind speeds increase significantly with altitude.

This is why simply increasing the height of a wind turbine will increase its power production considerably. Although, as is the case with everything, this costs money.

Due to the unusual size of this turbine, a new crane had to be built to install it, and even the nacelle (which you probably know as the head) had to be built on site.

Also, due to its size, the maintenance personnel live inside the turbine’s tower. Why pay them to travel to the turbine site when they can just live in it?

The maintenance personnel living inside even have TVs and internet connections!

Like all other developments, it has its opponents. One of them said: “Oh my God!. What’s the world coming to? Giant spinning skyscrapers?”

Another local, named Betty, said: “This is going to block my view. I won’t have it!”

Yes, this story is a fun fake for April Fools’ Day.

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About the Author

writes on CleanTechnica, Gas2, Kleef&Co, and Green Building Elements. He has a keen interest in physics-intensive topics such as electricity generation, refrigeration and air conditioning technology, energy storage, and geography. His website is:

  • Pieter Siegers

    Nice one 🙂

  • arne-nl

    April 1

  • James Wimberley

    Sorry, should have written 1000 feet, as in the April Fool story.. My guessed limit of 150m is just under 500 feet.

  • That’s a tall tale!

  • James Wimberley

    Should be Riesenmühle.

    What is in fact the practical limit on the height of wind turbines? According to the Wikipedia article on wind gradient, there’s little increase in wind speed above 100m, and we are there already. Going higher allows you to build bigger rotors, but the size of the tower and the blades increase on a cube law. The biggest turbine currently on the market appears to be Enercon’s E126 at 7.5MW, with a 135 metre hub height. My inexpert guess is that we will see diminishing returns beyond this. 150m towers and 15MW turbines, perhaps, but never 1000m.

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