April 24, 2024

The largest and most powerful wind turbine ever built is now operational : ScienceAlert

The shift to greener energy sources is always good news, and this certainly counts: The world’s largest wind turbine built to date is up and adding to the power grid in China.

The MySE 16-260 earns the biggest tag ever thanks to its rotor diameter of 260 meters (853 feet) and its swept area of 53,902 square meters (580,196 square feet); it’s also the most powerful wind turbine we’ve seen to date, offering 16 megawatts of power.

Here are some other statistics: The central tower is 152 meters (499 feet) tall, and the generator weighs 349 metric tons (385 US tons). It represents an amazing piece of engineering, and should produce around 66 gigawatt-hour energy per year. That is enough to supply around 36,000 homes, according to the China Three Gorges Corporationwhich helped build and install the turbine.

One of the rotors being fitted. (Three Gorges Corporation of China)

The MySE 16-260 was installed on a wind farm off the coast of Fujian Province in China. That’s right there Taiwan Straitwhere wind speed regularly exceeds 51 kilometers per hour (32 miles per hour), categorized as level 7.

That means this turbine has to be extremely resilient, and even in its short time in the field, it is lived before the stresses of it Typhoon Talim, which was responsible for the displacement of 230,000 people. As well as being built to last, the turbine has more than 1,000 sensors so it can adapt to weather conditions in real time.

“Most of China’s coastal areas are in typhoon zones, and if there are no wind turbines that can withstand typhoons, it can be said that wind power does not have much future in China,” said Qiying Zhang, the Chief Technology Officer at Mingyang Smart Energy company that designed the MySE 16-260. in a statement.

Wind turbine
The turbine is being installed in the Fujian wind farm. (Three Gorges Corporation of China)

According to China Three Gorges Corporation, the MySE 16-260 will save approximately 19,958 metric tons (22,000 US tons) of coal and 48,987 metric tons (54,000 US tons) of carbon dioxide emissions each year.

And there are reasons to be optimistic about the future too: 18-megawatt wind turbines already exist in the pipeline from GE, which means the amount of renewable energy we can produce from wind is only going to go up and up in the coming years.

This transition to clean energy is urgently needed. Research has shown how we can support ourselves using solar, wind and other green energy solutions and consign power produced by fossil fuels to history.

Fossil fuels are responsible for nearly 90 percent of carbon dioxide emissions, and the global warming and extreme temperatures we are seeing as a result of these emissions are already being felt acutely.

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