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India

India

India needs large turbines

In windy sites like Muppandal in the south of India it would make sense to replace the smaller turbines installed today with larger machines in order to achieve optimum output. The author has calculated that an increase in a wind turbine's generating capacity from 550 kW to 770 kW does not require a correspondingly large increase in rotor diameter (40-50 metres), and results in 18% extra power output.

It is frequently argued in India that large wind turbines are not suitable for installation because of difficulties with transportation and installation due to poor infrastructure. But can we afford not to use the larger more cost effective machines which are now the norm in Europe? Twenty years ago the most cost effective wind turbine had a rated capacity of 20-30 kW. Today this is true for machines of 500-750 kW and in five years 1500 kW could be the norm, whatever the wind speed of the site.

I have made calculations using wind turbines installed in India today which show that increasing a wind turbine's generating capacity, say from 550 kW to 770 kW, does not require a correspondingly large increase in rotor diameter (40-50 metres), but results in 18% extra power output.

In windy sites like Muppandal in the south of India it would make sense to replace the smaller turbines installed today with larger machines in order to achieve optimum output. Problems of transport and installation are to be solved, not used as an excuse to hinder progress.

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