Wind Turbines: Are They Slowing Down?

Wind Turbines: Are They Slowing Down?

By:  Julie Knight Do wind turbines last as long as other forms of renewable energy technologies? Previous belief was that the turbines would rapidly decrease output with time. I read an article in Buildings magazine in which they discussed this issue.  A recent  study has indicated that over the course of the wind turbines use, it maintains it output to generate energy.  For instance, the Imperial College Business School conducted a study over a 20 year period on wind farms in Great Britain.  NASA collected the data of some 531 turbines and their output. This study was different because it measured the wind speeds at the exact location of each wind farm in order to accurately determine how wear, tear and time affected turbine performance. Old studies focused on the country-wide wind speed averages. The conclusion is that the 1990s installed wind turbines are producing 75% of their original output after 20 years of operation. This means this renewable energy source will last their estimated 25 years before any upgrades will be needed. A longer than expected life span is good news for the more than 45,000 utility-scale turbines here in the United States!

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