German company Max Bögl Wind has announced the construction of a windmill, which will become the world's tallest. The facility will be located short of the city of Gaildorf (the State of Baden- Württemberg, Germany). The installation impresses with its specifications: the hub diameter with blades is 178 m (584 ft), the total height from a mast base to the top of the blade reaches 265.5 meters (869 feet), and the nominal electric power of a turbine generator is 3.4 MW.
The construction is carried out within the framework of the pilot project and provides for the building of four experimental turbines as part of a single wind farm. The remaining three windmills are equipped with similar generators of 3.4 MW each, but they have a smaller tower height, in the order of 155 meters (509 feet).
The turbines of this height were not designed at random. According to preliminary calculations, it has been determined that it is at heihghts of about 250 meters (820 feet) that such negative phenomenon as turbulence, which interferes with the installation operation and results in a rapid wear of its mechanicals, doesn’t show itself; moreover, every extra meter of a turbine's elevation increases power generation by 1 %. Besides, the movement of air masses is more uniform at high altitude, which contributes to the maximum efficient use of electric generators.
The project became unique not only due to the largest sizes of windmills. A unique concept of energy storage using “hydro storages” is applied in the course of construction.
The functional concept of the technology is quite simple. A water tank is placed at the very base of the mast. Due to the surpluses of electricity from the wind generator, water is injected into the tank with the help of pumps through pipes from a reservoir, which is located 40 meters (131 feet) below the tank. Subsequently, the waste water rotates the blades of hydrogenerators due to the difference in heights, thus generating electric power. Hence, the tank serves as a short-term power bank and helps to maintain the stability of a grid, providing continuous and uninterruptible power supply by doing so. Such system has a considerably high speed, i.e. it takes as little as about 30 seconds to switch from an accumulation mode to a production mode. The amount of water injected into the tank provides accumulating up to 70 MWh of energy, and the efficiency of such system far exceeds the efficiency of traditional HPPs through the application of up-to-date process solutions.
According to tentative forecasts, the wind farm will be fully put in commission early in the new year.