By Melissa Fassbender, Associate Editor
With a total weight of two million pounds, and blades as long as 400 feet, a single 15 mega-watt wind turbine would be able to power nearly 3,900 homes. Unfortunately, they don’t exist … yet.
Testing the World’s
Largest Wind Turbines
“Wind energy is becoming very close to reaching price parity with fossil fuels,”
explains Brian MacCleery, principal product manager for clean energy technology
at National Instruments (NI). “The industry is moving toward larger and larger wind
turbines because the cost-per-watt goes down as the size of the turbine goes up.”
To prepare for these turbines, a team of engineers at Clemson University, in con-
junction with various partners (including National Instruments) have come together
at the world’s most advanced wind-turbine testing facility at the Clemson University
Restoration Institute (CURI).
An artistic rendering of
the completed 15 MW
wind turbine drivetrain
(top), and the complete
test bay (below).