Big Picture: Raising expectations

GERMANY: Mounted on a 164-metre concrete-steel hybrid tower for a tip height of nearly 230 metres, this 3.3MW Nordex N131 in south-west Germany is now the world's tallest wind turbine.

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Low average wind speeds and thickly forested terrain characterise the Hausbay-Bickenbach wind project in the state of Rhineland-Palatinate in south-west Germany.

The response from Nordex, a pioneer of low-wind turbines, has been to introduce a 164-metre concrete-steel hybrid tower - the tallest yet - for its new N131/3300 turbine.

Even at their lowest point, the tips of the 65.5-metre rotor blades are 100 metres above the ground. At their highest they reach nearly 230 metres.

The tower comprises a 100-metre concrete section below two steel segments. It is manufactured by long-time Nordex partner Max Bogl and follows the same design practice as the company's 134-metre hybrid tower, of which more than 500 have now been produced and installed.

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