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Higher and higher in search of wind

A Fuhrländer 2.5 MW wind turbine has been taken to a record hub height, installed atop a 160 metre lattice tower built by SeeBA Energiesysteme to capture the meagre winds found in inland Germany. Sites that would not be profitable to develop with a 100 metre tower become profitable at 160 metres, says SeeBA.

From first experience during installation work, wind speeds at 160 metres are proving to be 3-4 m/s stronger than at a more normal hub height of 100 metres, says the company's Anke Lefèvre. As winds pick up, the difference has been observed to increase. No measurements were taken before installation of winds at 160 metres compared with those at 100 metres.

"Over the next few weeks measurements at both heights will be taken, after which more exact figures can be given," says Lefèvre. At 160 metres, the tower is more than twice the normal 70 metre height for high voltage electricity pylons and more than one-third of the height of the Empire State Building. The turbine, located at Laasow near Cottbus in Brandenburg, is expected to generate about seven million kWh a year.

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