How Big Can Wind Turbines Get?

12 dec. 2020
628 003 Weergaven

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Writer/Narrator: Brian McManus
Editor: Stephanie Sammann (
Animator: Mike Ridolfi (
Sound: Graham Haerther (
Thumbnail: Simon Buckmaster


Thank you to AP Archive for access to their archival footage.

Music by Epidemic Sound:

Thank you to my patreon supporters: Adam Flohr, Henning Basma, Hank Green, William Leu, Tristan Edwards, Ian Dundore, John & Becki Johnston. Nevin Spoljaric, Jason Clark, Thomas Barth, Johnny MacDonald, Stephen Foland, Alfred Holzheu, Abdulrahman Abdulaziz Binghaith, Brent Higgins, Dexter Appleberry, Alex Pavek, Marko Hirsch, Mikkel Johansen, Hibiyi Mori. Viktor Józsa, Ron Hochsprung


    Ese CallumEse Callum10 uur geleden
  • Mine in 86 stonwalled. opens and closes instantly mirroring opposing walls in tides and winds hoover dams magneticay naturally.! .reverce.equally

    Steven LonienSteven Lonien2 dagen geleden
  • They say we will have “green manufacturing jobs” yet all the wind turbines and solar panels are made in China. 😑

    Jg RsbJg Rsb3 dagen geleden
  • that bouncing gave me an idea of a new version of a japanese toy

    Theeraphat SunthornwitTheeraphat Sunthornwit4 dagen geleden
  • You can easily transport wind turbine blades on trains, it'd done very commonly in India

    Homi J BhabhaHomi J Bhabha5 dagen geleden
  • As the constrution of this type of blade might get maxed out due to the fact of reaching sonic speeds at the outside while converting only a little newtonmeter in the inside, there are some other designs for radial-turbines that might get more interesting to engineer in large scale too. This might reduce the needed size of the concrete foundation as concrete is a massice co2 driver and for humans it is not very likely to reuse concrete foundations.

    René W.René W.5 dagen geleden
  • All the best to engineers ⛲🗿🗽🗼🏧

    Marie CurieMarie Curie6 dagen geleden
  • Maybe it’s time to increase production of Vertical Axis Turbines?

    Mel BMel B11 dagen geleden
  • Un-recyclable wind turbine blades in land fills is super duper sustainable 🤡

    Yan MarchukYan Marchuk14 dagen geleden
  • Bird killer

    Overly FatmanOverly Fatman15 dagen geleden
  • Why did you miss Scotland which generated 90% of its generation from renewables

    Andrew WoodAndrew Wood15 dagen geleden
  • An answer to the title: Big

    Jude SutherlandJude Sutherland16 dagen geleden
  • Your eqn is prolly incorrect's rotational energy so it's 1/2iw2

    DeathXUnnatDeathXUnnat18 dagen geleden
  • Hey you did not seem to mention the Betz limit in the theoretical power output of the wind turbine The Betz limit states that no turbine can capture more than 59.3% of the theoretical wind power available to it. although this number is closer to 40-50% in conventional wind turbine installations Did not see anyone else mentioning this in the comments and the Betz number is really crucial when determining the theoretical power output of a wind turbine. (Really crude way to get a close estimate is to halve the power equation provided in the video) If anyone is interested to read further into wind generation theory I recommend reading the ABB "Technical Application Papers No.13 Wind power plants" It is available free online 😉

    JohnJohn18 dagen geleden
  • 4:13 Another reason they make them larger is because wind velocity increases considerably with increasing attitude, and you can see in the equation for power, velocity is cubed.

    Cam HenchyCam Henchy19 dagen geleden
  • I can’t be the only person that heard him say YEET in a nonchalant way😂😂

    Sterling StetarSterling Stetar20 dagen geleden
  • 3:20 "very simple formula" me: wtf is this crap?

    Niko LindroosNiko Lindroos20 dagen geleden
    • @John sorry, i dint go to american schools or nevet studied for this cinda stuff. Went to normal school for 9 years and studied for welding/machinery 3 years and got a job before my studies ended. Abd deb free

      Niko LindroosNiko Lindroos18 dagen geleden
    • Yes it is a very simple formula if you want to include actual losses into the equation it becomes this 2p*A*v1^3*a*(1-a)^2 Where A = cross section of the blades p = pressure in the cross sectional area V1 =Wind velocity before the turbine a = axial induction and to calculate the efficiency of the turbine you would divide this value with the simple formula provided in the video into an equation like this (2p*A*v1^3*a*(1-a)^2) / (1/2p*A*V1^3) So comparing to that it is simple just for the power generation side, then to calculate the Axial induction you have to calculate the aerodynamics of the blades (Thrust coefficient & lift & drag forces) and the mechanical losses from gearboxes etc

      JohnJohn18 dagen geleden
  • He did not just say “yeet”

    Ian LuIan Lu20 dagen geleden
  • Great video always well done

    Taylor JohnsonTaylor Johnson20 dagen geleden
  • U shaped blades. Or like a tractor thresher thing...dunno the name. Giant ass thresh shaped wind turbine blades...modular style. Snap together(not final product but you know what I mean)

    Jeremy GallowayJeremy Galloway20 dagen geleden
  • Make a plane with 2 wind turbine blades

    EskerbTHEskerbTH22 dagen geleden
  • I'm sorry, but thumb down for the clickbait title. The video doesn't even try to answer the question presented in the title.

    Ademeion AdemoAdemeion Ademo23 dagen geleden
  • "atempting to yeet the entire structure apart" nice phrazing

    Marin SrokMarin Srok23 dagen geleden
  • Could you look into the problems of wind energy like the disposal of old blades and the killing of birds and bees and what can be done about it

    Rob millsRob mills24 dagen geleden
  • Anyone know what them trucks and boats use to get around? Wind?

    JustinJustin24 dagen geleden
  • Where does all the oil, coal, and cement come from to make a wind turbine?

    Bruce FrykmanBruce Frykman27 dagen geleden
  • I am sure even relatively smaller sized blades of 25-30 m length can generate loads of electricity. Why not install them everywhere on land in every city, town, village

    Human Being23Human Being2328 dagen geleden
  • when he said "ireland" i just realized the narrator is probably from Ireland

    rgerberrgerberMaand geleden
  • Governments have no business forcing utility companies to use wind power when life span, maintenance, noise issues, manufacturing pollution, damaging the local environment, and high energy costs are resolved. Most of those issues will be resolved, but are far from it. Development should continue, but only privately funded.

    Bob AdkinsBob AdkinsMaand geleden
  • I would have loved to see an estimation of how big a wind turbine theoretically could get, if we used the best materials/composites possible that exist today. You mentioned carbon fiber plastics being too expensive to manufacture at that scale, and that is definitely true. But let's say that material sciences advance within the next 20 years, and it suddenly becomes economically feasible.. What would be the maximum wingspan using the best of the best materials? Good video nonetheless

    NucleusNucleusMaand geleden
  • what is that timer underneath from 2:45 to 4:06

    Kayden ThatKayden ThatMaand geleden
  • I like coal. It's just another form of energy dude

    Frank CrawfordFrank CrawfordMaand geleden
  • Makes me proud to be a dane

    Nicklas Møller NielsenNicklas Møller NielsenMaand geleden
  • The sable pain nearly battle because niece allegedly marry of a flimsy cloakroom. yielding, disgusting pancreas

    Chegg AccountChegg AccountMaand geleden
  • Can’t wait to see them all torn down!!

    James WuerteleJames WuerteleMaand geleden
  • didn't answer the question though.

    Waqas AhmedWaqas AhmedMaand geleden
  • When the blades are fatigued and due for replacement how can they be best re-assigned into something that would be widely useful. Could the blades be manufactured to be less than optimal so as to be easy to use in some other role? It really goes against the grain to visualise the system just putting these blades into landfill...

    English passport?English passport?Maand geleden
  • Excellent video. And I'm working in this industry for the last 16 years.

    Michael BerminghamMichael BerminghamMaand geleden
  • This presentation hypes natural gas s bit too much for my taste. Good stats on the growth of offshore wind!

    ThinkingForwardThinkingForwardMaand geleden
  • what software did you use for the photorealistic video next to the eiffel tower? thank you!

    Dimitris GotsisDimitris GotsisMaand geleden
  • Meanwhile china burns more coal than any other country on earth combined....

    CMW18CMW18Maand geleden
  • Shouldn't the question have been what is the optimal size and design? VAWT is a more efficient machine in terms of space and maintenance and while they might not produce quite as much power, yet, they cost less and work longer.

    Rick SchumanRick SchumanMaand geleden
  • Hi all @ This is a slight deviation from your exact thread but is still EV and Green energy-related. I was wondering why no one is talking about TE$LA and Wind turbines. With Elon and his company's engineering expertise, I am sure they could design and build The most efficient turbines and towers on the planet. With their knowledge of motors ( and that is all a generator is, a motor being pushed rather than driving a shaft ) coupled with the aerodynamic design of the blades ( remember they have some of the best drag coefficient numbers of any other road car due to their in house designers and fluid dynamics engineers ) That along with Elon’s Materials expertise used to design the towers, and his ability to scale up production at lightning speed, I can’t see how this would not go a far distance to accelerate his change to renewables and away from fossil fuels in the prime directive. Can you honestly think of a better company for this job than TE$LA ???? Eddie in Scotland

    Eddie KesslerEddie KesslerMaand geleden
  • me, a new student in wind energy to my instructor: so when do we start yeeting things?

    Boogz AlphaBoogz AlphaMaand geleden
  • Non content content, annoying narrator. Fan boi jo material garbage.

    ThunderAppealThunderAppealMaand geleden
  • Use a big fucking blimps to move blades

    Skip DoeSkip DoeMaand geleden
  • Bunch of BS..... Other sources state the grid is getting old and there is no one taking responsibility for the JUNK generators being left behind. Cost far exceeds the output.... BUT it's a whole new world of "Make Believe"

    KD8GIS BruceKD8GIS BruceMaand geleden
  • What a waste of money and resources ! Wind power.... 1980's technology for stupid good doers, snowflakes and whale saviors. The same problem with Tesla and Elon Musk worshippers. CO2 is not a problem, at all. Global warming? No warming since 1997. Get an education and do the math. Grow up, stupid.

    Renato StiefenhoferRenato StiefenhoferMaand geleden
  • Have you considered a point of principle at the heart of engineering which apposes compressive structures with tensile structures? How many spinnakers applied in an ocean current could you get for the cost of just the blades of a wind-turbine, how much greater constancy of yield, what greater force from the density of the medium which has a ratio to concrete of 1 : 2.4? With tension the atomic bond of the molecules is doing most of the constructive work. And in the marine - off-shore - the salt is ready-provided for electrolysis. No damage to marine life as opposed to serious damage by wind turbines to avian life, visual degradation of the landscape, fractional interface with the weather system confronted, partial use ability of the same, and fairly huge maintenance and repair costs. They simply cannot be the real future of energy generation. The leap upwards is into Geodetic considerations which means taking a whole view of Ambient Planetary Energy and interfacing with it at large or condensing it for use in more manageable proportions. I suggest that earth-tangent modular isocratic construction is the thing to consider - not minute stalks with blades on them - and that three starters for combination on that route are 1) Geodetic structures 2) the Isotropic Vector Matrix and 3) Khatmatrix - the last little known but essentially ‘normal’ cubic structuring but upon the basis of a syncopated cubeoctahedron and allowing dry-bond construction in the marine.

    mark hughesmark hughes2 maanden geleden
  • super interesting! I wonder if offshore farms can go faster as there is no one to annoy with the noise

    Noah AgnewNoah Agnew2 maanden geleden
  • liquid air batteries

    dermot andersondermot anderson2 maanden geleden
  • Great, but then Texas freezes and wind turbines iced up. It is not without its problems. Decommissioning is another problem as all the blades end up in landfills.

    BrommearBrommear2 maanden geleden
    • That was due to poor maintenance , there are wind turbines on Antarctica that works just fine.

      Bluesbr0therBluesbr0therMaand geleden
  • What makes the wind turbine turns ? Wings resist to air or air flows between the wings ?

    ilhandurmusilhandurmus2 maanden geleden
  • Sorry, but using an article from 2013 to make a video about fat-growing wind industry....

    денис баженовденис баженов2 maanden geleden
  • Nice video, but: 1) 2-3 parts blades exist 2) carbon fiber is used more and more in blades.

    денис баженовденис баженов2 maanden geleden
  • Great work, as always. However, I have a grammer comment. @2:00 you said "I would be amiss to not mention natural gas"... That is not quite correct. Amiss means inappropriate or out of place. Remiss means lacking attention to duty or negligent. Remiss would be proper here. Forgive my unsolicited intrusion. I like words.

    Tim KirwinTim Kirwin2 maanden geleden
  • At some point, we are gonna try and make reinforced Carbon fiber wings. I think, just like with the wind turbines themselves, it's the economy of scale. (Let me know if I'm wrong)

    Mr. BoomguyMr. Boomguy2 maanden geleden
  • Denmark is much much windier then other countries.

    Jhawk2tallJhawk2tall2 maanden geleden
  • Why don't they make the longer blades out of carbon fiber.? stiffer and stronger than steel; plus the black would cut down on bird collisions.

    Tom RobertsTom Roberts2 maanden geleden
  • 10:13 did he just say "yeet"?

    NokktesNokktes2 maanden geleden
  • Very fascinating! These turbines are so complex. I think they're going in the right direction and in the next decades major engineering breakthroughs will make wind energy even more attractive. The off-shore turbines require cables already for distribution. Maybe tidal generators would be combined with the wind turbines.

    JimA AndersJimA Anders2 maanden geleden
  • How big? How much money are taxpayers willing to shell out for these albatrosses?

    No rudeNo rude2 maanden geleden
  • Hang turbines between two mountains

    Andre BolleAndre Bolle2 maanden geleden
  • How neat and fun it must be to be a civil, mechanical, or electrical engineer in the 21st century!! So many opportunities and interesting challenges, and places to make an important difference in society.

    Paul KryderPaul Kryder2 maanden geleden
  • Wind Turbines cooling the planet, and killing many birds without one stone! (2021 Texas Power CRISIS THANK's YOU!)

    Googoo GiggleGoogoo Giggle2 maanden geleden
  • population of Denmark 5 millions people Irlande 4.9 i just leave this information here

    Bertrand MarionBertrand Marion2 maanden geleden
  • Wonderfully informative , as usual for Mr Engineering's videos. But in the business of communicating in the English language (or any language), as with engineering, care and precision (and proofreading) matter... "fundemental"!

    Exiled_LondonerExiled_Londoner2 maanden geleden
  • People fail to realize that the big boy wind turbines have a production life of 25 years max then they are rust buckets that have to be demolished because it's too dangerous to disassemble them. The massive composite blades have no half life -they are mammoth fiberglass hulks that fill ENTIRE landfills FOREVER as they do not degrade. There is no such thing as recycling the blades as they are falling apart pieces of junk by the end of their service life. (By the the way, a nuclear plant service life is 50 to 75 years) And we haven't talked about the displaced animals and hundreds of thousands of birds of prey killed every year by wind turbines. If people want green energy then they should back zero emission, safe nuclear that output hundreds of times MORE power (one reactor = 1,520 big wind turbines) on a footprint that is a 100 times less. Remember, this gleaming white monstrosities become massive, broken dangerous rust buckets in 25 year or less -search Germany and wind turbines. The Germans invested first and very heavily in wind and now they are secretly firing up more and more coal fired plants as their turbine are literally falling out of the sky as massive pieces of junk. Research what these turbines and blades look like after 10 or twenty years of service -they are no longer gleaming white statues but rusty and dangerous hulks that literally pose a danger to anything beneath them. The reason they are building these inefficient mammoths is NOT because they are great value for the energy dollar BECAUSE they are built with government subsidies. People and governments erroneously think these initially gleaming white things will last forever -THEY DON'T. The demolishing of these monsters will offset any fraction of use that they had. If they lasted one hundred or two hundred years and didn't wipe out millions of birds all over the world then they might be viable, but they don't. Smaller wind turbines are useful for small remote sites or villages NOT for producing base electricity for the grid.

    Bill RiceBill Rice2 maanden geleden
  • 5:25 "pushing the boundaries of watt is possible."

    Jeff BentonJeff Benton2 maanden geleden
  • Wind and solar sucks, we need nukes

    David ScheindlinDavid Scheindlin2 maanden geleden
  • Big enough to freeze

    Sim WilliamsSim Williams2 maanden geleden
  • I don't know if you have ever made a video on the drive train/gear box of the wind turbines. That would be a fascinating video to watch. From what I've read about it, the gear ratio is insane. Something like 72:1 , if I remember correctly.

    TheNine AreMineTheNine AreMine2 maanden geleden
  • The maddening front neurally drop because airship dfly charge into a sulky pencil. festive, strong statement

    Andrew ZeitlerAndrew Zeitler2 maanden geleden
  • How ever big the blades can get

    Armando Van HaarenArmando Van Haaren2 maanden geleden
  • Love the engineering but about as green as Mars.

    Mel BMel B2 maanden geleden
  • Use carbon fiber👌🏻

    Indika JeparaIndika Jepara2 maanden geleden
  • wonder what effect on the weather and/or climate giant wind farms have? I imagine it's taking energy out of the air so not the same as if they were there.

    Christophe BChristophe B2 maanden geleden
  • reinventing the wheel while we already have safe, cheap and efficient nuclear technology available

    Ackchyually 94Ackchyually 942 maanden geleden
    • @infinitelyExplosive in a long run - yes

      Ackchyually 94Ackchyually 942 maanden geleden
    • cheap?

      infinitelyExplosiveinfinitelyExplosive2 maanden geleden
  • This channel is getting weirder and weirder exponentially. Peak FKN BS would be the honest channel name

    Lone WolfLone Wolf2 maanden geleden
  • Snow in Texas froze all their wind generators causing power shortages & also in Germany all their solar panels & wind turbines froze causing a back up of fossil fuelled power to supply the grid.

    joe bloggsjoe bloggs2 maanden geleden
  • So many false statements in this video I don't know where to begin. The first two minutes are just laughable. Although there is some good information here, it's being presented under a somewhat false or misleading narrative. Engineers have not figured out how to efficiently implement wind into the grid. There are some exceptions of course, as highlighted, but there some major obstacles that engineers have not been able to overcome. The problem is being able to ramp up the power output as needed and store enough extra energy for peak needs when excess is available. We don't have the battery capacity to do so. This is the big problem pro green energy, climate alarmists choose to ignore. The statistics of the effectiveness of wind turbines are inflated numbers. The push for wind and solar is being subsidized by special interest groups and government agendas. As turbines become more efficient, the cost of electricity does not plummet. That's not the way the economics work, especially in a capitalistic society. Not in the real world anyway. The suppliers keep the additional profits created by lowering their costs, it's not passed on to the consumers. The savings are only passed on when a competing product sells cheaper, forcing the supplier to lower their rates. You have to remember, the consumer is not their customer, the stock holders are. Coal plants are not being replaced by wind and solar as the green energy community would like you to believe. What's actually taking place is these plants are being replaced by natural gas and bioenergy plants, aka burning fossil fuels and trees. Everyone should watch the documentary by environmentalist Jeff Gibbs and Michael Moore: Although wind and solar have their place, we need to take a harder look at nuclear and hydro options as a more viable solution.

    ADAM WAITEADAM WAITE2 maanden geleden
  • F to all the Wind Turbines that froze in Texas 💀💀

    rocKEt LauNCHERrocKEt LauNCHER2 maanden geleden
  • What the fuck. Natural gas is gas, it emits greenhouses effect gases. Stop green washing it.

    OldstalkOldstalk2 maanden geleden
  • Two minutes and forty seconds with irrelevant propaganda. I came for the limits to size.

    Christian AastorpChristian Aastorp2 maanden geleden
  • Železničná doprava musí byť bez železa múdry postaví opačne zo železa blázon 🤪 postaví železničnú dopravu bez železa

    Pacaj AlbertPacaj Albert2 maanden geleden
  • Why doesn't Levelised Cost of Electricity for wind include the price of electricity storage? Other technologies they compare their costs to include that as their quote for on-demand electricity.

    AzrudiAzrudi2 maanden geleden
  • ok you had me until you mentioned Denmark. For those of you that haven't been to gets so windy the Trees grow SIDEWAYS! I have been all over the world, and that was the first time I have seen trees grow completely sideways due to the wind. It's like saying Solar Energy Collectors are pratical and then only give an example of the output where people live near a desert.

    J AnsaJ Ansa2 maanden geleden
  • 8:00 what you're talking about doesn't clearly correlate with what the graph shows. "More force as blade gets longer" vs what appears to be the opposite in the graph? Maybe some more transitions in the graphics can help?

    Sho AmSho Am2 maanden geleden
    • Yeah the x axis is wrong.

      Fifth GamingFifth Gaming2 maanden geleden
  • No. the point is to save our planet

    • AR • Productions• AR • Productions2 maanden geleden
  • How is texas doing right now cause of thier wind turbines?

    Mike HawkMike Hawk2 maanden geleden
    • LOL

      J AnsaJ Ansa2 maanden geleden
  • Please sign this form. We are fighting against wind turbines of 240M high. They will be placed at 300 meter from a village. This is not save for Nature, Animals and humans. Please fill in this form and help us out.

    Astrid JanssenAstrid Janssen2 maanden geleden
  • Yeah Texas almost froze and some did because they relied on these turbines that froze and caused rolling blackouts at a time Texas needed them the most.

    Mark LandersMark Landers2 maanden geleden
    • Wrong and easily disprovable:

      WhomThouDoesNotKnowWhomThouDoesNotKnow2 maanden geleden
  • "Yeet"... had to look that one up.

    John SimonJohn Simon2 maanden geleden
  • The truth is that wind turbines generate dirty power. About 25% of the demand must be met by base generation (fossil fuel , hydro or nuclear) to stabilize the system.

    John SimonJohn Simon2 maanden geleden
  • a video on cryptocurrency

    Naman RajputNaman Rajput2 maanden geleden
  • These ugly things, now mostly dormant and rotting away are littering the beautiful countryside in both northern and southern California. They killed tens of thousands of birds, never paid for themselves, cost taxpayers billions of dollars, and now the rich investors who got all this government money to put them up don't have the money to remove them. Far from helping the environment, they have made thousands of acres of America look like a junkyard...

    jamesdond1jamesdond12 maanden geleden
  • My wind turbine are bigger than those in Europe. Sound like a phallic reference

    New Jersey LionNew Jersey Lion2 maanden geleden

      belly tripperbelly tripper2 maanden geleden
  • The faster the tip speed The louder the noise (what?)

    The message manThe message man2 maanden geleden
  • haha "the limits of Watt was possible"

    seegurkekillerseegurkekiller2 maanden geleden
  • We miss our brand new V236-15 MW ;) Great video anyway!

    VestasVestas2 maanden geleden