Worldwide there are over 200,000 wind turbines operating and the wind generation capacity doubles about every 3 years. Wind power is accounted for 9% of the global renewable energy consumption in 2017 and it has the second-fastest electricity generation growth after solar PV. Wind power has an important role in combating global warming. During its entire lifecycle, a modern wind power plant produces 41 times more energy than it consumes.
4. Enercon E-126 7.58 MW
The E-126 is the world’s highest-performing onshore wind turbine manufactured by the German company Enercon. The 7.58MW model was introduced in 2011 and up until 2014, it was the largest wind turbine when the Danish company, Vestas, came out with its V164-8.0 model. The total weight of this massive turbine is 6,012 tonnes.
Rated power: 7.580 kW
Rotor diameter: 127 m
Hub height: 135 m
Total height: 198 m
3. Siemens Gamesa 8.0-167 DD
A larger rotor installed with the new 81.5 meter long aerodynamic blades results in 20% more energy produced annually compared to the predecessor. Simplified production means there will be 1,000 SG 8.0-167 DD offshore wind turbines produced by the beginning of 2020. A more powerful model is in the pipeline as well, the SG 10.0-193 DD with 10 MW power in 2022.
2. MHI Vestas V174
Vestas has taken the proven 9.0 MW platform and upgraded it to 9.5 MW. It currently has the largest commercially proven rotor size – 174 meters. Each of the blades on this offshore wind turbine weighs 35 tonnes. The swept area of 23,779 m2 is more than double the area of the London Eye. A single turbine can power up to 9,000 average homes in the United Kingdom.
1. GE Haliade-X 12 MW
GE Renewable Energy has introduced the world’s largest and most powerful wind turbine, the Haliade-X. It produces 12 MW power, has a 220-meter rotor, and a 107-meter blade designed by LM Wind Power. It’s also claimed to be the most efficient offshore wind turbine to date. It can generate up to 67 GWh annually, which can power 16,000 average European homes. 63 of these giants would be enough to give energy to a million homes.
While all these numbers are impressive, currently this model is being tested in the Netherlands and commercial use is supposed to begin in 2021.
Wind Turbines are 50 times more powerful than 20 years ago
The average rated output of a wind turbine in 1990 was just 50 kW. In 2016 the same number was 2848 kW. The most powerful wind turbine, the GE Haliade-X, starts operating in 2021 and it is rated at 12,000 kW. That’s a staggering 240 times more power than an average wind turbine in 1990.