50 MW giant wind turbines are being researched

Here is some research we might see one day off the coasts around the world : giant 50 MW offshore wind turbines, with blades as long as 200 meters (650 feet). That’s two and a half times longer than any existing wind turbine blade.

According to Grist and Cleantechnica, the Sandia National Laboratories is working for the US Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration to develop offshore wind at a lower costs. To reach economies of scale, fewer turbines have to be installed, and thus, size has to increase.

An “exascale” 50 MW turbine is not for tomorrow as the scientists working on the project state. Currently the largest models are around 10 MW only.

A cool feature of these prototypes as the folding blades : ” at dangerous wind speeds, the blades are stowed and aligned with the wind direction, reducing the risk of damage. At lower wind speeds, the blades spread out more to maximize energy production. “

Sandia wind turbine design

The US Department of Energy has a goal of providing 20 percent of the nation’s energy from wind by 2030. These blades could potentially help reach such ambitions.

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