Some of the world’s largest wind turbines are over 200 meters tall. They usually comprise of three aerodynamic blades to capture energy from the wind. This article looks at how long these wind turbine blades can get.
The World’s Longest Wind Turbine Blades – 107 Meters
It may come as no surprise to you to learn that the world’s longest wind turbine blades can be found on the world’s largest turbine. At the time of writing, this is the Haliade-X 12 MW turbine from GE Renewable Energy.
The Haliade-X 12 MW features three 107 meter long blades made by LM Wind Power (a sister company of GE). These form a huge rotor with a diameter of 220 meters. This is capable of sweeping an area of 38,000 m² – the equivalent of 7 American Football fields!
This turbine has the potential to generate 67 GWh of renewable electricity each year which is enough to power over 16,000 homes. GE estimates that using the Haliade-X 12 MW in a 750 MW wind farm could power over 1 million homes.
The Haliade-X is a game-changer for the wind energy industry. It can provide around 45% more power than most of its rivals, bringing higher value to its customers. It will even be used by Dogger Bank Wind Farms to build the world’s largest wind farm off the east coast of Yorkshire, UK.
MHI Vestas V174-9.5 MW Turbine Blades – 85 Meters
One of GE’s closest rivals MHI Vestas has an offshore wind turbine with blades as long as 85 meters. This results in a rotor diameter of 174 meters and a swept area of 23,779 m². Whilst this isn’t anywhere near that of the Haliade-X, it is still more than double the area of the London Eye.
The MHI Vestas V174-9.5 MW has an impressive 9.5 MW rated power output. This is capable of powering clean and renewable wind energy to around 9,000 homes.
What About Onshore Wind Turbines?
You might have noticed how the longest wind turbine blades are found on offshore turbines. This is due to various factors including the visual and noise pollution that wind turbines produce. Both of these are key drawbacks of wind energy. Because of this, onshore wind turbines tend to be smaller than their offshore counterparts.
The Enercon E-126 7.580 MW is the world’s largest onshore wind turbine and has a blade diameter of 127 meters. This equates to a blade length of somewhere around 60 meters. This is considerably less than the 107 meter long blades on the Haliade-X 12 MW offshore wind turbine.
Some lower capacity onshore wind turbines feature longer blades than the Enercon E-126 7.580 MW. For example, the Vestas V150-4.2 MW has 73.7 meter long blades. This is closer to the length of offshore blades but still far off the Haliade-X.
We can conclude that rotor blades found on wind turbines can reach up to 107 meters in length. Turbines of this size are usually found in offshore wind farms with onshore turbines usually producing less energy.
Blades of this length have the ability to withstand significant wind speeds. When installed, they can produce lots of energy, supplying power to around 16,000 homes per turbine.