Energy

World's biggest wind turbine shows the disproportionate power of scale

World's biggest wind turbine s...
The bigger the wind turbine, the better the production and the economics. Hence, they're scaling up to ludicrous proportions.
The bigger the wind turbine, the better the production and the economics. Hence, they're scaling up to ludicrous proportions.
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The bigger the wind turbine, the better the production and the economics. Hence, they're scaling up to ludicrous proportions.
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The bigger the wind turbine, the better the production and the economics. Hence, they're scaling up to ludicrous proportions.
The MySE 16.0-242 will be the world's biggest offshore wind turbine, with each unit capable of powering 20,000 homes
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The MySE 16.0-242 will be the world's biggest offshore wind turbine, with each unit capable of powering 20,000 homes

China's MingYang Smart Energy has announced an offshore wind turbine even bigger than GE's monstrous Haliade-X. The MySE 16.0-242 is a 16-megawatt, 242-meter-tall (794-ft) behemoth capable of powering 20,000 homes per unit over a 25-year service life.

The stats on these renewable-energy colossi are getting pretty crazy. When MingYang's new turbine first spins up in prototype form next year, its three 118-m (387-ft) blades will sweep a 46,000-sq-m (495,140-sq-ft) area bigger than six soccer fields.

Every year, each one is expected to generate 80 GWh of electricity. That's 45 percent more than the company's MySE 11.0-203, from just a 19 percent increase in diameter. No wonder these things keep getting bigger; the bigger they get, the better they seem to work, and the fewer expensive installation projects need to be undertaken to develop the same capacity.

The MySE 16.0-242 will be the world's biggest offshore wind turbine, with each unit capable of powering 20,000 homes
The MySE 16.0-242 will be the world's biggest offshore wind turbine, with each unit capable of powering 20,000 homes

The overall result should be a drop in offshore wind energy production prices – a sorely needed drop, too. Current levelized costs of energy, as estimated by the US Energy Information Administration for new energy generation assets going live in 2026, place offshore wind as the most expensive way of generating a megawatt-hour right now, at US$120.52, where ultra-supercritical coal is more like $72.78 and standalone solar is around $32.78 before subsidies.

Obviously, wind fills in gaps that solar can't, and it'll be a crucial part of the energy mix going forward. Scaling the industry up with these mammoth turbines is the key reason why industry experts are predicting that the cost of offshore wind will drop by between 37 and 49 percent by 2050, as reported by Renew Economy.

MingYang says the MySE 16.0-242 is just the start of its "new 15MW+ offshore product platform," and that it's capable of operating installed to the sea floor or on a floating base. The full prototype will be built in 2022, installed and into operation by 2023. Commercial production is slated to begin in the first half of 2024.

Source: MingYang Smart Energy

46 comments
46 comments
Spud Murphy
I wonder if the cost of coal includes the hidden costs, like the health care costs from illness and death caused by particulates, site clean-up costs after decommissioning of the power plant, including remediation of fly ash storage areas and the coal mines themselves? Very much doubt it, those costs are always conveniently overlooked because those costs are usually passed onto the public...
paul314
How much of the cost of offshore wind is just the cost of offshore construction?
dperreno
19% increase in diameter = 41% increase in swept area, so no great surprise at the 45% increase in power.
mediabeing
I guess there was a reason we couldn't be shown the entire thing. Oh well.
jocco
any chance that enough of these would cause a drag on the world's rotation speed?
Cryptonoetic
Isn't global warming supposed to result in less wind? All the places these wind turbines are being built are going to be windless deserts 20 years from now, right? Except for the hurricanes. They're going to be worse. And maybe tornados. And 10 times more lightening. Hey... let's harvest lightning energy! Hook up every lightening rod to the nearest power grid. That should be cheap to do, yes?
Maboomba Maboomba
The title is inaccurate. Nice rendering, but a nonexistent turbine cannot be the world's largest, nor can it "show" ANY output.
Chris Crawford
Mr. Cryptonoetic asks "Isn't global warming supposed to result in less wind?" No, it is not. There are two drivers of winds. The first is the global circulation, which IS being reduced in intensity by the rapid warming of the polar regions. The second is the weather, which is driven largely by the evaporation and condensation of water in the atmosphere. Higher temperatures make for more evaporation of water; the condensation of water provides the energy driving violent storms, but also drives a great many other weather processes.

We residents of the West Coast would very much like to see weaker winds; they are what make wildfires so destructive.
Rob Köƕŗ
@Cryptonoetic lookup nasa world greening. Global warming is increasing greening, causing more rainfall and less deserts. Basically, we are going the path to a more jurassic looking world (minus the dinosaurs 🦕)
1stClassOPP
I like Jocco’s comment. Aren’t we taught the for every action there is a reaction? What if the rotation of the earth IS slowed because of these hideous giant machines cause so much resistance? We’d be in a bigger fix than with oil , or coal production. Time will tell.
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