Max Bögl installs record-breaking 246.5-metre turbine

GERMANY: The record for the world's tallest turbine has been broken once again, with the completion of a 246.5-metre-high turbine installed by tower firm Max Bögl near Stuttgart, south-west Germany.

The turbine has a maximum tip height of 246.5 metres — a world record
The turbine has a maximum tip height of 246.5 metres — a world record

The tower includes a 40-metre innovative pumped-water storage mechanism, forcing the whole structure to new heights.

The GE 3.4MW turbine has a 137-metre rotor diametre, and is installed at a 178-metre hub height, the German engineering firm said.

It passes the record set by Nordex's 230-metre 3.3MW turbine also installed in southiwest Germany in June 2016. Max Bögl also supplied the 164-metre hybrid tower for that turbine.

"For the first time ever, power generation from renewable energy is combined with a modern pumped-storage power plant," Max Bögl said.

"This new storage concept utilises the foundation of the wind turbine as a water reservoir, which results in a 40-metre increase in the height of the turbine.

"This is hugely beneficial since each additional metre of hub height added to a wind turbine increases the annual energy yield by 0.5 to 1%.

"High hub heights mean less wind turbulence and significantly better wind yield, especially for inland locations with weak wind conditions," it added.

The base of each wind turbine is to be used as a water reservoir. The lower reservoir for the pumped storage plant lies in a nearby valley, 200 metres below the wind turbines.

A combined wind and hydro power plant will be able to provide balancing power for fast-response stabilisation of the grid, said GE.

This would be an additional source of earnings on top of normal participation in the wholesale electricity market.

The wind turbines and the pumped storage unit will both sell electricity into the wholesale market with their combined operation optimised to make the most of price fluctuations.

During times of peak demand and high electricity prices, the hydro plant will be in production mode. When demand and prices are low, the hydro plant will be in pump mode, pumping and storing water in the upper reservoir for later use.

The net effect will be to use the stored hydro capacity to balance the intermittent nature of wind power through the optimal use of energy at different times of the day, GE said.

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