Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Even more wind power per unit area

This is my third post giving factual data about the power per unit land area of wind farms in Britain. My first post described a farm near the coast made of small machines (27m diameter); the power per unit area was 1.4 W/m2. The second post cherry-picked the best windfarm in Britain (located in Shetland); the power per unit area was 6.5 W/m2. The turbines there have diameter about 50m. Now returning from mid-ocean, let's ask "what do really big land-based turbines deliver?" I picked the Glass Moor windfarm, which has eight 2 MW machines, each with a diameter 82m. (It's the biggest windfarm close to Cambridge; no special cherry-picking, here.) Looking at the OS map, I judged the area occupied by the windfarm to be 2 km2. Based on one year's data, the average output of this windfarm (per unit land area) is 2.2 W/m2.
These data support the view that 2 W/m2 is a good ballpark figure for the power per unit area of a modern windfarm in England.

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