In the light of the extensive debate surrounding the economics of scale of wind turbines, this timely work examines the engineering implications of developing lightweight compliant designs. Through the development of a unique modelling approach, the authors quantify the weight and cost of a diverse range of design solutions, enabling systematic quantitative comparisons to be made for the first time. This innovative reference will provide a valuable guide to engineers and consultants involved in wind energy development as well as academic researchers and postgraduate students of wind turbine technology. FEATURES INCLUDE: Coherent analysis of the inter-relationship between the economics of wind turbines and engineering design configurations. Discussion of the main factors driving the weight and cost of large wind turbines eg. rotor design, number of blades, blade materials, flexibility and control strategy. Accessible overview of the development of large wind turbines and the direction that designs are taking now and into the future.
Examination of the cost implications of specific design issues such as vertical versus horizontal axis, fixed or variable speed-rotor strategy, compact versus modular drive train and direct drive configurations. Evaluation of the economics of onshore and offshore generation sites and the prospects for the deployment of large wind turbines in offshore wind farms.