Huge wind turbine opens a new green energy research centre
ENERGY Off the east coast of Scotland, you will find a wind turbine that can generate 8.8 megawatts – a new world record. The Swedish energy company Vattenfall is responsible for the project, and Danish Vestas supplied the turbine, which is the first of a total of 11. When the wind park is completed, it can supply 23 % of the city of Aberdeen’s energy consumption, corresponding to 80,000 homes.
The distance from the sea surface to the turbine’s top wing tip is 191 m. The wings are 80 m long, and the entire rotor diameter is 164 m, i.e. much larger than the famous London Eye ferris wheel.
Apart from supplying huge quantities of electricity to the British power grid, the wind park will func-tion as a new technology research centre aiming to make wind parks more efficient and cheaper to build.
The foundation of the turbines is made using a new method, by which designers lower a threelegged structure onto the sea floor. At the bottom of each leg, there is a 10-m-wide, hollow cylinder which is sealed at the top. Once the cylinders are resting on the sea floor, pumps will empty them of water, resulting in an underpressure that causes them to be stuck to the sea floor. Then the foundation is sealed with a layer of concrete, and subsequently, the turbine is mounted along with the wings. The foundation can easily be removed again by the end of the wind turbine's life. The entire structure measures a total of approximately 260 metres.
The 191-m-high wind turbine in Scotland is mounted on a new type of foundation, which sucks itself into the ocean floor.