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Q36. How many units make up a commercial deepwater wind farm? What area would this cover and what would be the size of the machines?
A36. The simple fact is we don't know at this stage and that this is the very essence of the Demonstrator learning process. A two turbine Demonstrator Project is clearly not a commercial wind farm but will help us determine what one might constitute.
The commerciality of a larger wind farm will be determined by many factors such as turbine size and fabrication and tie-in costs. Depending on what we learn from operating the Demonstrator, we may be able to define what will constitute a commercial wind farm.
Hmm, they don't know?

As a convenient rule of thumb one can assume that a wind farm will produce on the order of 1 MW/Km^2 on average. Bigger turbines have to be spaced farther apart (up to 15 blade lengths away) so there's no gain (except possibly being able to build taller turbines to take advantage of higher wind speeds farther from the surface).

So, at 1MW/Km^2, Beatrice's 30MW would require 30Km^2 (e.g., 5Km x 6Km) of wind farm. Each of these 5MW turbines would stand in the centre of a 5Km^2 circle (1.3 Km radius)

A 1GW field would have a radius of about 18 Km. Beatrice is 25 Km away from the coast, so a 36 Km-diametre field would cover 80 degrees of the horizon.

Can the last politician to go out the revolving door please turn the lights off?

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jul 15th, 2007 at 03:06:19 PM EST
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