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Technological evolution of onshore wind turbines—a market-based analysis

Technological evolution of onshore wind turbines—a market-based analysis

Full Title: Technological evolution of onshore wind turbines—a market-based analysis
Author(s): Javier Serrano-González and Roberto Lacal-Arántegui
Publisher(s): Wind Energy
Publication Date: February 1, 2016
Full Text: Download Resource
Description (excerpt):

Wind energy technology is evolving towards larger machines (longer blades, taller towers and more powerful generators). Scaling up wind turbines is a challenging task, which requires innovative solutions as well as new configurations and designs. The size of wind turbines (in terms of rotor diameter, hub height and rated power) has increased extraordinary from 30 m rotor diameter, 30 m of hub height and 300 kW rated power, usual in the late 1980s, to 92.7 m rotor diameter, 87.7 m of height and 2.1 MW on average at the end of 2014. However, technological evolution has not only been focused on the scaling up process but also on developing innovative solutions that minimize costs at the same time as they deal with aspects of different nature, such as grid code requirements, reliability, quality of the wind resource or prices and availability of certain commodities, among others. This paper analyses the evolution of wind technology from a market-based perspective by identifying trends in the most relevant technological indicators at the same time as stressing the key differentiating aspects between regions/markets. Evolution and trends in indicators such as rated power, rotor diameter, hub height, specific power, wind class, drive train con- figuration and power control systems are presented and analysed, showing an intense and fast technological development, which is enabling wind energy to reduce costs and becoming increasingly more competitive with conventional fuel-based generating technologies. © 2016 The Authors Wind Energy Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd

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