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Science Forum

Science Forum

  1. 28 Jan '14 18:59 / 1 edit

    "...The Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), along with partners from the Electric Power Research Institute and the University of Colorado have completed a comprehensive study to understand how wind power technology can assist the power grid by controlling the active power output being placed onto the system. The rest of the power system's resources have traditionally been adjusted around wind to support a reliable and efficient system. The research that led to this report challenges that concept.


    Wind is one of the fastest growing sources of power generation – supplying up to 20% of electricity in many areas of the world. In some regions of the U.S., wind sometimes provides more than 50% of the electric power.

    For wind power to provide active power control services, three things must happen:

    The wind power response needs to improve power system reliability; not impair it
    It must be economically viable for wind power plants as well as electricity consumers. Because power plants may incur additional capital costs for the controls and reduce the amount of energy it sells to the market, there must be an incentive to provide the service
    Active power control should not have negative impacts on the turbine loading or induce structural damage that could reduce the life of the turbine.
    "The study's key takeaway is that wind power can act in an equal or superior manner to conventional generation when providing active power control, supporting the system frequency response and improving reliability,"

    I assume this strategy would help to reduce the amount of electricity that would have to be stored off-the-grid to make renewables work.
  2. 30 Jan '14 22:07 / 1 edit

    "...Danish wind technology giant Vestas said on Thursday that the world's most powerful wind turbine has begun operating, sweeping an area equivalent to three football fields
    A prototype for the group's first V164 8 megawatt offshore wind turbine has successfully produced its first electricity, the Aarhus-based group said.

    "We expect that it will reduce the cost of energy for our customers," spokesman Michael Zarin said.

    "You can have fewer turbines to have the same amount of electricity. ... You can save a lot of the expense on things like the foundations, the cabling or the substation," he added.

    The 8 megawatt turbine, which will be the flagship product for a joint venture between Vestas and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, has the capacity to produce electricity for 7,500 European households.

    It's been installed on land at the Danish National Test Centre for Large Wind Turbines in Oesterild in northwestern Denmark. Vestas said serial production could begin in 2015 if there is enough demand.

    The most powerful onshore wind turbine on the market is currently the 7.5 megawatt E-126 by Germany's Enercon, while the largest offshore turbines are the 6 megawatt models produced by Germany's Siemens and France's Alstom.

    Competition in the sector is fierce: South Korea's Samsung Heavy Industries installed a 7 megawatt offshore wind prototype turbine in Scotland last year.

    France's Areva and Spain's Gamesa said last week they were holding talks on combining their offshore wind turbine activities, and that they planned to accelerate development of an 8 megawatt turbine.


    I wonder how big they will eventually go? 10,000 megawatt turbines?