Thursday, June 27, 2013

Big Wind Advance: GE Brilliant Wind Turbine Achieves 52% Capacity Factor In Modest Wind Locations!

GE is claiming that its new wind turbine can achieve a 52% capacity factor in areas with modest wind resources, Class 3 locations.  Assuming the claim pans out, this turbine is a game changer!

Here is what GE is saying about its new Brilliant wind turbine:

Three of GE’s 1.5-megawatt, 80-meter-tall brilliant turbines with 120-meter rotors will be installed byInvenergy at a Texas wind project by the end of this year. The new height, rotor length and data analytics will allow the turbine to achieve a 52 percent capacity factor in moderate, Class 3 winds of speeds of 7.5 meters per second, according to GE Wind Product General Manager Keith Longtin.

Large areas of Pennsylvania and many other places in the USA have Class 3 wind resources, where achieving about a 30% capacity factor was a reasonable expectation.  A turbine that can achieve a 52% capacity factor in areas with a modest wind resource makes wind power even more competitive and lower cost in more areas than it already is. Indeed, a turbine that can achieve a 52% capacity factor will be producing some power for the grid probably  about 90% of the time during a year.  

Among many breakthroughs made both by wind and solar are the leaps in efficiency of converting wind and sunlight into electricity.  These efficiency jumps are a major reason why the cost of wind and solar power have fallen significantly already and will continue to fall lower still.

Congratulations to GE for its tremendous engineering success in bringing to market its new Brilliant turbine. And thank you to Alan Nogee who brought the GE breakthrough to my attention.

Who says America no longer manufactures big things?  I just love this!

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