Overcoming technical obstacles that hinder growth of wind power

Erie Shores Wind Farm

Erie Shores Wind Farm

Whether they are built on land or at sea, nearly all wind turbines have the same technical issues related to the fact that wind is naturally variable. Today the best machines in the best spots now offer about a 35 percent “load factor,” or efficiency level. The largest problem in turbine design is not the blades, but what we can’t see. It’s the guts of the machine—the engineering components housed in the nacelle, or body, of the turbine, which convert that kinetic energy into electricity—that need improvement.
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