Energy

World's highest wind turbine catches the breeze in Germany

World's highest wind turbine c...
The Gaildorf giant is over 800 ft tall from ground to blade tip
The Gaildorf giant is over 800 ft tall from ground to blade tip
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The Gaildorf giant is over 800 ft tall from ground to blade tip
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The Gaildorf giant is over 800 ft tall from ground to blade tip
Diagram showing the novel water battery storage system. The Gaildorf turbine's foundation doubles as a passive water reservoir for a pumped storage hydro power station situated in the valley below.
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Diagram showing the novel water battery storage system. The Gaildorf turbine's foundation doubles as a passive water reservoir for a pumped storage hydro power station situated in the valley below.
The world's highest wind turbine has a rotor diameter of 137 meters
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The world's highest wind turbine has a rotor diameter of 137 meters
Construction of the world's highest wind turbine at a small wind farm project in Gaidorf, Germany
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Construction of the world's highest wind turbine at a small wind farm project in Gaidorf, Germany

Max Bögl Wind has announced the construction of the world's tallest turbine in Gaildorf, near Stuttgart in Germany. The tri-blade giant has a hub height of 178 meters (584 ft), with a total height from ground to tip of the blade of 264.5 m.

The new turbine is part of a four turbine wind farm pilot project. Other hub heights manage to rise up as far as 155 m, and all are equipped with customized 3.4 MW GE generators. The project also sees a novel storage concept come into play. The so-called water battery should allow the turbines to continue operation at times when they would normally be throttled back or stopped altogether, such as during strong winds.

The wind turbine foundations double as a passive water reservoir for a pumped storage hydro power station situated in the valley below, while also pushing the turbine 40 meters farther into the sky.

Each extra meter of hub height is expected to increase annual energy yield by up to 1 percent, while high hub heights also result in less wind turbulence and much better wind yield, making these behemoths a particularly good fit for inland locations with poor wind conditions.

The water battery reservoirs, which have been designed for 70 MWh of electrical storage capacity, are connected by underground polyethylene penstock to the hydro power station.

"The water battery, which was also referred to as natural power storage in the Gaildorf pilot project, can store surplus power from the grid and release it when necessary," explains the company. "It acts as a short-term storage facility and helps to maintain grid stability while guaranteeing a continuous, uninterrupted supply of power. The pumped-storage plant is able to switch between production and storage within 30 seconds."

The Gaildorf pilot project is expected to start feeding into the grid early next year.

Source: Max Bögl Group

4 comments
Daishi
This is an interesting experiment. For all the talk of using lithium ion batteries for grid storage I think it's easy to overlook the fact that they are probably over-engineered for that task. If you have an abundance of power to use during the day just using it to pump water or (hydro storage) or push rocks/weights up a hill provides a really renewable form of battery. I've heard of other ideas like people pushing a weighted train car up a hill during the day too. A train (or water) on top of a hill is stored energy too. Another concept is using sealed off fracking wells for compressed air because they already offer a lot of the required infrastructure. Chemical batteries are seen as the short term solution but I think it's ideas like these that will win the day in the longer run. BTW they have an animation on their website that shows their pumped hydro solution: http://www.mbrenewables.com/en/pilot-project/
YuraG
The most meaningful records tend to generate little fuss. This one doubles as a windmill pump too. Well done Max Bögl Group!
StWils
This kind of innovation will continue to evolve, to employ more people than coal, to provide power close to the consumer and thereby forestall electrical transmission losses, and will not happen in the U.S. until after the next presidential election. Unless, of course, maybe, if the pace of indictments, perp walks, arraignments, etc., can pick the pace.
Craig Jennings
Still making round masts. Throw a shroud on it and alleviate the whump-whump-whump that travels for miles.