Traditionally wind turbines have looked almost like giant stream-lined Windmills. They’re usually located out to sea, due to offshore wind being a lot more reliable, and the very largest of turbines can create up to 10 mega-watts of power.
As Britain is the windiest country in Europe, priority is being put into installing many windfarms around the country. Renewable UK state that ‘a modern 2.5MW turbine at a reasonable site will generate 6.5 million units of electricity each year, enough to meet the annual needs of over 1,400 households, make 230 million cups of tea or run a computer for 2,250 years’ but as electricity demands are increasing, is this sufficient enough?
Perhaps not. This is why engineers are constantly developing new ways to generate more electricity from wind turbine technologies. Generally speaking, the bigger the wind turbine, the more electricity it will generate. However, as size increases so does price and the logistics of installation become more of an issue. The latest idea is the giant 10MW Aerogenerator X offshore wind turbine.
This immensely large wind turbine is able to generate an impressive 10 megawatts of energy, putting it in the realms of the most advanced and biggest vertical standing wind turbines. The Aerogenerator X spans nearly 274m in width and is based on the same floating technology that oil platforms are built on. Interestingly, the design was based on the rotation of a spinning sycamore seed.
The scheme to develop the Aerogenerator has already had backing by blue chip companies such Rolls Royce and Shell. The first prototypes are scheduled to be built in 2013-2014 and will be tested for the following two years.
Here is a computer generated video of the Aerogenerator X spinning on the sea bed:
And to make that Monday feeling go away, here is an entertaining video of a wind turbine self-destructing. Don’t worry though, this never normally happens. A wind farm is an extremely safe way to generate electricity.