Thursday, May 29, 2008

Ban the Bulb Dimming?


How many Government Ministers
does it take to fit a CFL light bulb?

December last year I wrote a post - prematurely congratulating the government on bringing in a ban on the sale of incandescent bulbs. It now begins to look like the plan is getting a major "watering down". Will we see the old bulbs banned in the next 6 months ??? I begin to doubt it.

Look guys (members of the Irish Government) - there is more than one way to peel an apple!!! If the stupid EU gets in the way of this plan - why not just treble the VAT on incandescent bulbs. And then give away 20 million or so CFL bulbs divided between every household in Ireland. It will save lots of money and energy, and carbon credits etc. in the long run.


Wednesday, May 28, 2008

A Thank you to the Oil Sheiks and Barons


Thanks to the
Oil Sheiks & Barons

At the moment oil prices are rising faster than a hot air balloon. It is getting quite hard to keep up with the frenetic escalation in the price. There seems to be percentage point increases almost daily.

Disaster or Blessing?

Is this a disaster? Or is there a hidden blessing in this pricing madness? I believe that the oil companies or the oil sheiks or whoever or whatever is driving up the price, is actually serving the world and energy future quite well in the long run.

The major benefit I can immediately see coming from the price madness is that it is making people and governments keenly aware of the energy crisis and is thus promoting investment in the renewable alternatives. The investments worldwide in sustainable energy projects have risen almost as steeply as the price of oil.

Oil Addiction

It is a timely wake up call and it will IMHO serve the world well by helping to break the oil addiction and the denial that accompanies all addictions and addicts.


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

What Boiler?


Wartime Rationing?
Oil Wartime - that is!
Waste-wood Boiler Time??

From time to time I get interesting letters in my e-mail box. Here is a nice one from Bill P.. in Gloucestershire UK. and I don't mind getting a bit of praise now and again!!

Hi Tony

Just wanted to say thanks for all the effort you've put in to the blog & the insightful comments.

My family & I are (still!) living in AA (insurance speak for alternative accommodation) after being flooded in Gloucestershire last July, believe it or not. We have had much aggro dealing with useless loss adjusters & eventually opted to organise the rebuild work ourselves. This is quite good timing in one way, as building trades are now a lot easier & cheaper to get hold of than when the rush was in full swing last year.

Originally we were going to replace our oil boiler with another one, but as each week sees another several per cent rise in oil price, I started looking at alternatives & landed on pellet boilers quite quickly. Looked too good to be true, but I'm old enough & skeptical enough to wonder what I was missing (or they weren't telling me...). Service, pellet supply were my main concerns as the links I saw all looked distinctly amateurish.

Then I found your blog this morning & since reading your points on storage & other key areas, it all gelled. I'm definitely going to skip it until Dandoss & the like enter the market. There are grants here too of course, but I'm sure the inverse value rip-off law operates here in just the same way.

As we are rural with no gas, we're looking at an electric boiler which I never would have imagined feasible, but install costs are low & if we get the right tariff deal may not be a disaster. More stable than oil I suspect

I'm still seriously considering supplementing this with a standard multi fuel burner to run some radiators, but I shall make sure the flue isn't going to end up clogged with unburnt creosote in a few years though :-)

More power to your elbow!

Bill P....

I would be inclined to use a multi-fuel boiler myself, one that could burn anything from shavings and sawdust, to acorns, wood or coal. Like the sort of thing illustrated above. In a shortage situation it could keep the home fires burning!!! Disadvantages - are that it takes work to feed and tend the beast. The advantages are that these types of boilers are cheap, less than 1000 Euro, almost maintenance free, and can burn literally rubbish.



Monday, May 26, 2008

3D Solar-Thermal Panel


New Type 3D
Solar Thermal Panel

(Loosly, as always, adapted from a press realease)

Dahm - Dr. Kevin Dahm - and his trusty bunch of students- at Rowan College NJ, are working with a local inventor, Neal Cramer, to develop a completely new type solar thermal panel. STS (so-they-say). This is a heat collector panel as distinct from the photo-electric types I have been writing about recently, in other words, it makes hot water etc.

Dr Dahm’s engineering students have pointed out that this is the first truly new solar thermal system in more than 30 years. The developing company have stated that their panel is unique among renewable energy technologies and that it will be cost effective without any government subsidies. (That’s my song they are singing – grants only attract the rip-off merchants and gougers – like blue-bottles to a dead dog).

Because the panel collects the sun’s heat in a three dimensional way, (whatever that really means), it is capable of far higher efficiencies than current designs. This will make it smaller and lighter for the same heat output, and that in turn should make it cheaper per Kw and easier to install. It will also be much more robust and cheaper than the current high efficiency vacuum tube designs as shown above. (Gee I hope that it really works!!)

Generally solar panels work by absorbing sunlight onto a two-dimensional flat black surface and then transfer the heat to a liquid that is pumped through tubes connecting the panel. (Except for the vacuum tube types that use concentrating mirrors and ultra high insulation - see above photo)

The inventor oif this new type of solar panel, Neal Cramer, is the founder of Helios Products, and owns the patent pending on the three-dimensional process. According to reports, the system will, unlike so many new inventions, focus on residential applications initially. (Can I have one?)

Helios say that a typical PV panel systems producing 10 kW require an array of panels that may cover half a roof, and may cost on average $80,000 and reduce the household energy costs by about $1,500 a year. ( Maybe that is a bit of an overstatement – but it is also not good science to compare two completely different processes like that!!! )

They say that the system is going to be available for between 5 to 10 percent of the cost to produce the same energy savings. ( I guess that they are using the fauly PV cell comparison again here)

Dr. Dahm ( makes me want to say “damn it Dr. Dahm”! ) - is working on the basic research evaluating variables in the collector process with his students. They've set up shop in a lab on the third floor of Rowan Hall, the College of Engineering building, and on the top floor, with its heating facilities, storage areas and access to sunlight. They've constructed the solar panels out of a readily available, durable material that will facilitate a rapid introduction into the market.

"We're taking his idea and helping making it viable for the marketplace," Dahm said.

A Dahm good idea I say. Good luck to all with the project!
As usual, we will apply the scientific principle of WAS (wait-and -see)


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Wind Farmers Ways!


Wind Farmers Shyness

Readers of this blog will know I am very well disposed towards wind energy, and that I also have a growing interest in the various types of technology involved. I have been writing posts on wind energy, and the ins and outs of the technology, for some time.

The Shy Ones

It has come as a bit of a surprise to me that my attempts to get an interview with the management of Saorgus Energy Ltd. Tralee, one of the local wind farms, had been met with a wall of coyness, and side stepping that would leave a dance master dizzy. Could be that they think I am out to trip them up or cause conroversy? Or that my blog and its readers are just an annoyance to be ignored, like a blue-bottle buzzing around your soup bowl. Fair enough, I do have a tendency to be cynical, and even sarcastic at times, but only in well deserved cases. I wonder if this gives me an excuse for a cynical rant??

Saorgus Energy Ltd. with an address in Tralee, founded in 1993 and originally called Western Windpower Ltd. The directors are Mike Barry Tralee and Aidan Forde Killarney, and John Bourke Dublin.

I have been on the phone and spoke, at length, to a Saorgus representative on three separate occasions. I have directly asked for some simple form of interview, even a telephone interview, each time I was given an evasive type of reply, saying they would contact me. Yea – in ten years time maybe - if I was still alive!!!

The questions that immediately pop into my head when I get this type of a brick wall or the run–around are: 1. Why are they hiding? 2. What are they hiding? 3. Maybe they just couldn't care less?

Saorgus can be contacted at:

Saorgus Energy Ltd.,
Enterprise House,
Kerry Technology Park,
Listowel Road,
Co. Kerry,
Phone +353 66 7129144
Fax +353 66 7190329

The Gregarious Ones

However, to balance the equation, another company, SWS Natural Resources, has taken a completely different attitude, returning calls, answering question, and issuing an invitation.

SWS Natural Resources, who own, among others, the big wind farm at Kilgarvan populated by huge and elegant Vestas turbines, has a much more open approach to the public and to communications.

I have spoken on a couple of occasions to their Kevin O’Donovan, the SWS wind farm man. He has shared several pieces of information regarding SWS’s projects, and has invited me to attend a future installation of turbines along with my camera and notebook.

A little civility and openness goes a long way.

SWS Natural Resources Ltd
Shinagh House
Co. Cork
Phone: +353 23 41271
Fax: +353 23 41304
SWS Directors: Neil O’Leary, Patrick Hogan, Ulric Kenny, Tim Cowhig


Thursday, May 15, 2008

Sunrgi PV Cell


Sun - R - Gi (get it!!)
Announce Newish Type
Concentrating PV Cell

This gives a fairly clear impression of the Modules
Note the Magnifiers and the massive Heatsinks

Here is what a 1 KiloWatt array looks like

(Loosly Adapted from press releases)

According to Sunrgi - A (kinda) new solar energy system will soon make it possible to produce electricity at a wholesale cost of 5-US cents per kWh (Now ff that’s true it’s amazing). (They claim that they have fully tested and proved the system and that commercial scale production will start in about 1 year)

A Magnifying Lens concentrated the sun some 2000 times onto the PV Cell

There is about 1000 watts of energy in 1 square meter of summer sunshine at its zenith. The above graphic gives a clear impression of the efficieny rating of the various types of PV cell.

The systems is dubbed XCPV (Xtreme Concentrated Photovoltaics), a system that concentrates the equivalent of more than 1,600 times the sun's energy onto the world's most efficient solar cells STS (so - they - say), was announced today by SUNRGI, a solar energy system designer and developer, at the National Energy Marketers Association's 11th Annual Global Energy Forum in Washington, DC. The technology will enable power companies, businesses, and residents to produce electricity from solar energy at a lower cost than ever before.

"Solar Power at 5 cents per kWh would be a world-changing breakthrough," said Craig Goodman, president, National Energy Marketers Association. "It would make solar generation of electricity as affordable as generation from coal, natural gas or other non-renewable sources, without requiring a subsidy"

"In a little more than a year we were able to develop and successfully test XCPV," said Robert S (Bob) Block, co-founder and SUNRGI principal. "We expect the SUNRGI system to become available for both on and off-grid power applications, worldwide, in twelve to fifteen months" STS (so -they - say)

What differentiates SUNRGI's XCPV system from any other solar energy system includes: a propriety, integrated low profile technology for concentrating sunlight; a propriety technology and methodology for cooling solar cells; a low cost, modular system optimized for mass production; less land area or "roof top" requirements than typical solar energy systems; a technology roadmap for continuous improvement; low-cost field installation; and, a custom-designed system for easy operation and maintenance.

about SUNRGI

SUNRGI, with offices, in Reno, Silicon Valley and Los Angeles, is in the business of designing and developing solar energy systems. It was formed by five, experienced, entrepreneurial, inventive individuals with the goal of created a renewable energy source that would be available at fossil fuel prices. Its work has led to the development of an entirely new solar energy category: Xtreme Concentrated Photovoltaics or XCPV

Some of their FAQs

Q1: SUNRGI claims that by using its proprietary technology it is possible to produce large amounts of electricity from solar energy at a wholesale cost of 5-cents / kWh. How can SUNRGI do this when multi-billion dollar energy companies have not been able to achieve the same success?
A: The simple answer to that question is that we don’t know why the big companies have not approached this problem the way SUNRGI has approached it. What we do know is that our technology enables the production of electricity at a wholesale cost of 5-cents per kWh because of our: (1) Extreme Photovoltaics Concentration; (2) Proprietary Heat Removal System; (3) Design for low cost mass production and field installation.

Q2: In layperson terms, how does the product work?
A: Virtually everyone remembers using a lens to magnify sunlight to produce a very bright, powerful, focused spot of light. SUNRGI systems efficiently harness this principal to turn that powerful spot of concentrated sunlight directly into electricity, which can power anything that runs on electricity.

Q3: What is Extreme Concentrated Photovoltaics and how does it differ from Solar Thermal power?
A: Solar thermal systems use the heat from sunlight to heat a fluid, such as oil, which in turn is used to make steam, that then runs the same type of turbine generator used in conventional fossil fuel plants. These plants take a long time to build, are labour-intensive to run and maintain, and require large amounts of water to operate. XCPV systems convert sunlight directly to electricity, without any intermediate step. As such, they are not labor intensive to run or maintain, and do not require any additional resources other than sunlight to operate.

Q4: How soon will this product be available?
A: We expect to begin production of a commercial product in 12 to 15 months.

Q5: Is there a functioning prototype of the product and has the product been tested?
A: Yes. XCPV prototypes have been built and successfully tested under both laboratory and field (outdoor) conditions.

Q6: Who will be able to purchase the product when it is made available?
A: Initially, SUNRGI will target large institutional and corporate customers, including utility companies, government institutions, systems integrators and those companies and projects which have large-scale, renewable power requirements.

Q7: Can this technology be applied to residential applications?
A: Yes it can.

Q8: What effect will this product have on the rates that utility companies charge consumers?
A: SUNRGI believes that ultimately its technology could lead to lower electricity rates, which will have widespread implications for the economy.

Q9: Given the fact that there is a shortage of silicon will this affect SUNRGI?
A: Traditional solar cells are based on silicon, of which there is currently a worldwide shortage. SUNRGI XCPV technology does not depend upon silicon, and therefore is not affected by this shortage.

Q10: What is the difference between Solar Thermal Generation and Solar Photovoltaic Generation?
A: Solar Thermal Generation focuses the light from the sun to heat a liquid, such as oil or water. In small-scale applications, this heat is used to make hot tap water, or to heat air for space-heating. At larger scales, this heat is used to make steam to run a massive conventional turbine which then, in turn, produces electricity.

Q11: How do users of solar energy get electricity on cloudy days and at night?
A: Most solar energy systems in the United States are connected to the national electrical “grid” (on-grid use). This means that the users have electricity 24/7. For off-grid users excess electricity would be generated during the day and stored for nighttime and cloudy day use.

Good luck to SUN -R - Gi. We will WAS (wait- and - see) - wont we?

Am I getting to cynical guys?


Sunday, May 11, 2008

Kerry gets New Wind Farm


New Enercon Wind Farm
for Tralee

Tralee in County Kerry is currently having an Enercon wind farm built. It is situated just behind the Kerry County Council, North Kerry Landfill Site at Muingnaminnane, Kielduff, Tralee. Co. Kerry.

Enercon E48 Note the Blade-Tip and Trailing Edge

The turbines being installed at the site are the Enercon E48 wind turbine which has a smallish rated power of 800 kW and a sophisticated rotor blade design, the E-48 wind turbine, according to Enercon, is the most profitable system within its class.

The E48 Nacelle. You can just see the E-48 mark

The rotor diameter, as the E48 name suggests is 48 m or just over 157 feet. The hub centre to blade tip is just over 24 meters or 78 feet. The hub height can vary, according to site needs, from 50 to 76 meters; I don’t know what heights are being used in Tralee.

The turbine uses the same type of direct drive gearless annular generator as the larger Enercon units that I have been writing about. It also utilises variable speed and variable blade pitch control. The speed of rotation can vary from 16 to 30 rmp.

The blade is made from fibreglass and has integrated lightning protection. The E48 uses a high wind cut-out system at wind speed of between 28 - 34 m/s.

Good luck to the new wind farm. I am a litttle disappointed though not to have encountered the E126, though I guess that size of turbine would be more suited to more open mountain sites like Kilgarvan.


Friday, May 09, 2008

Breaking Wind in Ireland part 3


Big Wind in Ireland

More on the E126

The E-126 tower in Emden is 131 m high and consists of 35 concrete sections manufactured by WEC Turmbau Emden GmbH situated on the South Quay in Emden. Due to the 14.5 m diameter at the tower’s base, the first eight segments are divided into three parts for transport purposes. 22 of the segments are half-divided, and the other five are in one piece. The top segment supporting the nacelle is made of steel.

The tower walls are up to 45 cm thick, a new record for ENERCON. And a total of 110 m³ of concrete were used to build the tower. Since the ground along the silty banks of the Ems River is quite soft, a total of 64 fifty-six-centimetre thick piles measuring an average of 25 m had to be rammed into the ground to support the foundation. Another 1500 m³ concrete and 180 t of reinforcing steel were used in the foundation.

Enercon have a second E-126 directly next to the first one on the Rysumer Nacken. Both turbines are part of a research and development project in which Enercon will be testing various storage systems in combination with the multi-megawatt wind turbines. More E-126 are planned to follow: One turbine is to be erected at the DEWI-OCC test site in Cuxhaven this fall. In 2008, five other turbines are scheduled to be installed – in Georgsfeld near Aurich, in Hamburg Altenwerder and in Estiennes in Belgium.

Generator and Inverter

Because the Enercons have no gearbox the turbine blades attach directly to the annular generator which is housed at the widest part of the nacelle.

As with smaller wind turbines, the Enercon series use inverters instead of synchronous generators, that is to say, a separate controller that converts the irregular current generated into smooth AC for the grid. This also means the rotor can run at more optimum and/or varied speeds. The Enercon does not have to shut off at a predetermined wind speeds, it simply throttles back by feathering the blades and it can continue to generate power although at a lower production rate. Then, when the wind is more favorable, it goes back into full mode.

Why Big?

Why build such big wind turbines? Money, that’s why!! Building big is generally cheaper per unit of production. To install say three 2 megawatt turbines, you have to have to build three sets of massive foundations, Transport the parts for 3 turbines, utilise three separate teams of workers and three cranes. After the installation there are 3 machines to maintain, and three times the parts to fail. One big one, while more expensive initially, works out costing less in the end. Another reasons for having high capacity turbines is that a wind farm of say 6 large turbines looks a lot better than one with 24 smaller turbines.

Birds and Noise

Some people are concerned about birds being killed by wind turbines. With the really big ones, this is very unlikely indeed as they rotate at only 12 rpm. In other words, it takes about 5 seconds to complete one revolution. Any bird that flew into that would have to be blind and stupid.

As for noise, the big Enercons will be less noisy than some other makes. This is due to two factors, 1. They don't have gearboxes. The gearbox in a turbine makes a noticeable whine. and 2. The blade design makes less wind noise.

Enercon in Ireland?

Today, I briefly spoke to Kevin O’Donovan of SWS Natural Resources who told me that the company are installing some Enercon turbines in Ireland in a current project. I will have more on that in a later post. SWS have an open policy and have invited me to attend the installation of some new turbines in Kerry. I look forward to that event, and be sure I will have my camera with me.


Vertigro and Algae Oil


Comment on
Vertigro Algal Oil Project

Sometimes I get really well balanced comments (and sometimes I get ones which are not) and rather than leave these considered and intelligent statements tucked-under a past post, I recon they are worth a proper airing. Here is one such comment from Daryl on "Vertigro" and their Algal Oil Project:

Daryl has left a new comment on your post "Algae How Much Oil?":

Hi Tony,

I've been checking into the Vertigro product and algae biostock in general.

In 12/07, Valcent announced initial test results, based on 30 reactors running for 90 days continuously, without any optimization yet.

This configuration can harvest algae and extract oil at a rate of 1 gram/litre (dry weight), which extrapolates out to 276 US tons per acre per year, using their formulas. Then, assuming you can get 50% lipid content (i.e. believe the algae research numbers), that's equivalent to 33,000 gallons per acre per year.

The next step will be to increase the number of reactors to 100, add some optimization and measure again.

Vertigro uses fairly common centrifuge extraction techniques, so I'm guessing similar numbers could be used as estimates for now.

I'm sure they don't have COA yet.

So, the reality is that they're in alpha test and quite a while from getting real world data in order to calculate the kind of metrics you're asking for. By the way, I totally agree that these are key questions to be answered.

Switching to the expert opinions that were cited...

Both are well respected in their field, but walking around with some old school information.

Dr. Benemann argues that ponds are the way to go because they are much cheaper. He dismisses entire spectrums of possibilities, such whether closed loop systems could ever produce significantly higher yields than ponds, or if new micro algae organisms could possibly be discovered or optimized in less than 10 years.

One of the biggest problems with this view is that ponds cannot control the airborne algae and other contaminants, which in turn take over the feedstock growth cycle. Nor can ponds control the temp or pH very easily. As a result, ponds cannot match the production rates of closed loop reactors, they are more labor intensive, and, while it might not be a huge issue, require a lot more land.

Besides the above, what's missing in Dr Benemann's and's analyses is that the cost of many of the bioreactor's components have been commodized, innovations have occurred in temp control, micro filtration, etc., and more research in general has been completed.

Also consider that a high percentage of the byproducts can be easily made into high protein animal feed, processed into fertilizer, or fermented into ethanol or butanol. Yield helps here as well.

Lastly, algae can sequester up to 90% of it's dry weight in CO2. As we evolve into cap and trade, the ability to remove literally tons of greenhouse gases can be monitized.

Put this altogether and it means that the ROI of the bioreactor model has changed considerably in 2008.

The initial cost of the Verigro hardware is estimated at $1M USD for a 1-acre plant. Obviously land, greenhouses, plumbing, construction costs, etc. are incremental.

Given what it is known and what has changed, it's worth watching Vertigro closely, even if they don't respond to inquiries well...

Thanks Daryl, We will wait and see............................


Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Breaking Wind in Ireland part 2


Breaking Wind in Ireland
Part Two

Continuing the piece on turbine technology, I am taking a general look at some of Enercon’s innovations in this Post.

Gearless Direct Drive

Perhaps Enercon's biggest innovation is the gearless (direct drive) wind turbine which utilises an “annular” or ring shaped generator system. This differs radically from most other wind turbines, which generally use gearboxes in order to increase the rotation speed of the generator.

A drawing to give the general impression of what the annular generator
looks like. The green bit is the blade hub. The grey bit is the generator.

Here is a photo of a Hub and the Generator behind it.

In wind generators the use of a gearbox increases the noise it makes quite a bit. My impression of sound from turbines was mainly from the gearbox whirr, the swish of the blades was a more organic sound and didn’t register with me. Gearboxes also increase the possibility of breakdowns and decrease the overall efficiency because of friction, the same reason they also need to be fed with oil!


The E126 blades are also a bit of a revolution! (revolution – get it!!) They, unlike current designs, come in two pieces and use the shorter part in steel and the longer part in GRP (Glass Reinforced Plastic – or fibreglass).

Shows the Two-Part Blade construction as well as the Trailing Edge Design

The blades have a special profile with extended trailing edge. This design is designed to boost the output.

The Nacelle

Note the huge size of this E112 Nacelle
it is the size of an average two storey house
if you click on the photo you will get a better image
Blogger has problems sizing photos

Look at the workers to get a perspective of the size!!!

Turbine spotters can easily spot an Enercon turbine as they have a distinctive drop-shaped “nacelle” (the word is derived from the French ‘nacele’ meaning small boat) or generator housing.


Other Enercon distinctions, for tech spotters, are the towers which are generally painted light green at the base to blend in with their surroundings. Enercon use sectional concrete rather than steel tube towers on their BIG ‘uns.

Shifting the Monsters

This is a one-piece blade Takes up a whole barge The E126 blade comes in two pieces

As big and all as the E126 is, it can be fairly easily transported. This is due to two main factors. 1. The huge blades coming in two sections, and 2. The precast concrete towers are multi sectional and the bigger diameter lower section are split into two semi-circular pieces. This means the bits can be carried on trucks with a maximum width of only 4.40 meters.


Monday, May 05, 2008

Breaking Wind in Ireland

Ireland Needs
Big Wind Investment

The total amount of electricity that Ireland is capable of generating is approximately 6,000 megawatts or in other words 6 GigaWatts. At a fairly recent estimate, roughly 800 MW of the generated power came from wind turbines.

If Ireland has one thing in plenty it is the wind. We also have plenty of hills and mountains which are good for nothing much else except wind farms.

I have recently visited a couple of Kerry wind farms and I have been most impressed by the size, sleekness and clean simplicity of this way of generating power. I am excited by the huge potential Ireland has for wind energy, and by the clean, quiet, safe, and aesthetically beautiful nature of this technology.

The View from Your Back Yard

Kilgarvan Wind Farm Co Kerry

MoneyPoint Coal Fired Generator County Clare

Wind turbines are sometimes knocked as being and ugly and inefficient way of generating power. Fact is that wind turbines are 97 to 98% efficient at extracting energy from the wind. Compare this with coal fired plants like MoneyPoint which are only 30 to 40% efficient. Which would you prefer to have in your back yard??

I have become intrigued by the design and technology of wind turbines and have started to read up on the various makers and designs. I started to search for the BIGGEST (toys for boys and all that) wind generator currently in production and this search lead me to a German company. One particular design that caught my attention very early on, initially because of its sheer size and large output, is a German design by a company called Enercon.


Currently the world’s largest operational wind turbine in general production is the Enercon E-126, as far as I know. The Enercon E-126 turbine has a truly massive rotor diameter of 126 meters that is 413 feet. Each of the three blades is 63 meters or 206 feet from centre of the hub to tip of the blade!! Not the 126 meters as incorrectly listed on several sites and postings on the WEB. The hub centre is at a height of 135 Meters – and the total height, as measured to the tip of the blade while at the top of it’s rotation, is 198.5 meters or 651 feet!

This machine is an upgraded and more sophisticated version of an earlier wind turbine called the E-112, which was formerly the world’s largest wind turbine with a rated 6 megawatts output. Some of the photographs shown are of the E112.

The E126 was initially rated at 6 megawatts, but will mostly likely produce 35% more power than it’s predecessor the E112, that is up to 8+ megawatts, or another way of rating it would be to say it can deliver 20+ million kilowatt hours per year. Sufficient to power about 5,000 households of four people based on a European standard.

I was interested to read that Enercon say that they will be testing several types of storage systems in combination with these multi-megawatt wind turbines. If you have been reading my blog you will know that I believe that Redox battery, Sulphur battery, or some other form of storage is essential to balance the intermittent nature of wind turbine output.

Enercon is based in Aurich which is in Northern Germany. It is the third largest wind turbine manufacturer in the world and the market leader in Germany. I have been in touch with the company by phone and have received permission to reproduce the amazing photographs featured in these posts.