How Big Can Wind Turbines Get?

12. des.. 2020
611 983 Ganger

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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

  • 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 Henchy4 timer siden
  • I can’t be the only person that heard him say YEET in a nonchalant way😂😂

    Sterling StetarSterling Stetar14 timer siden
  • 3:20 "very simple formula" me: wtf is this crap?

    Niko LindroosNiko LindroosDag siden
  • He did not just say “yeet”

    Ian LuIan LuDag siden
  • Great video always well done

    Taylor JohnsonTaylor JohnsonDag siden
  • 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 GallowayDag siden
  • Make a plane with 2 wind turbine blades

    EskerbTHEskerbTH3 dager siden
  • 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 Ademo3 dager siden
  • "atempting to yeet the entire structure apart" nice phrazing

    Marin SrokMarin Srok4 dager siden
  • 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 mills4 dager siden
  • Anyone know what them trucks and boats use to get around? Wind?

    JustinJustin4 dager siden
  • Where does all the oil, coal, and cement come from to make a wind turbine?

    Bruce FrykmanBruce Frykman8 dager siden
  • 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 Being238 dager siden
  • when he said "ireland" i just realized the narrator is probably from Ireland

    rgerberrgerber11 dager siden
  • 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 Adkins14 dager siden
  • 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

    NucleusNucleus14 dager siden
  • what is that timer underneath from 2:45 to 4:06

    Kayden ThatKayden That14 dager siden
  • I like coal. It's just another form of energy dude

    Frank CrawfordFrank Crawford16 dager siden
  • Makes me proud to be a dane

    Nicklas Møller NielsenNicklas Møller Nielsen16 dager siden
  • The sable pain nearly battle because niece allegedly marry of a flimsy cloakroom. yielding, disgusting pancreas

    Chegg AccountChegg Account16 dager siden
  • Can’t wait to see them all torn down!!

    James WuerteleJames Wuertele20 dager siden
  • didn't answer the question though.

    Waqas AhmedWaqas Ahmed21 dag siden
  • 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?22 dager siden
  • Excellent video. And I'm working in this industry for the last 16 years.

    Michael BerminghamMichael Bermingham23 dager siden
  • This presentation hypes natural gas s bit too much for my taste. Good stats on the growth of offshore wind!

    ThinkingForwardThinkingForward27 dager siden
  • what software did you use for the photorealistic video next to the eiffel tower? thank you!

    Dimitris GotsisDimitris Gotsis29 dager siden
  • Meanwhile china burns more coal than any other country on earth combined....

    CMW18CMW18Måned siden
  • 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 SchumanMåned siden
  • 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 KesslerMåned siden
  • me, a new student in wind energy to my instructor: so when do we start yeeting things?

    Boogz AlphaBoogz AlphaMåned siden
  • Non content content, annoying narrator. Fan boi jo material garbage.

    ThunderAppealThunderAppealMåned siden
  • Use a big fucking blimps to move blades

    Skip DoeSkip DoeMåned siden
  • 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 BruceMåned siden
  • 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 StiefenhoferMåned siden
  • 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 hughesMåned siden
  • super interesting! I wonder if offshore farms can go faster as there is no one to annoy with the noise

    Noah AgnewNoah AgnewMåned siden
  • liquid air batteries

    dermot andersondermot andersonMåned siden
  • 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.

    BrommearBrommearMåned siden
    • That was due to poor maintenance , there are wind turbines on Antarctica that works just fine.

      Bluesbr0therBluesbr0therMåned siden
  • What makes the wind turbine turns ? Wings resist to air or air flows between the wings ?

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

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

    денис баженовденис баженовMåned siden
  • 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 KirwinMåned siden
  • 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. BoomguyMåned siden
  • Denmark is much much windier then other countries.

    Jhawk2tallJhawk2tallMåned siden
  • 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 RobertsMåned siden
  • 10:13 did he just say "yeet"?

    NokktesNokktesMåned siden
  • 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 AndersMåned siden
  • How big? How much money are taxpayers willing to shell out for these albatrosses?

    No rudeNo rudeMåned siden
  • Hang turbines between two mountains

    Andre BolleAndre BolleMåned siden
  • 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 KryderMåned siden
  • Wind Turbines cooling the planet, and killing many birds without one stone! (2021 Texas Power CRISIS THANK's YOU!)

    Googoo GiggleGoogoo GiggleMåned siden
  • population of Denmark 5 millions people Irlande 4.9 i just leave this information here

    Bertrand MarionBertrand MarionMåned siden
  • 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_LondonerMåned siden
  • 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 RiceMåned siden
  • 5:25 "pushing the boundaries of watt is possible."

    Jeff BentonJeff BentonMåned siden
  • Wind and solar sucks, we need nukes

    David ScheindlinDavid ScheindlinMåned siden
  • Big enough to freeze

    Sim WilliamsSim WilliamsMåned siden
  • 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 AreMineMåned siden
  • The maddening front neurally drop because airship dfly charge into a sulky pencil. festive, strong statement

    Andrew ZeitlerAndrew ZeitlerMåned siden
  • How ever big the blades can get

    Armando Van HaarenArmando Van HaarenMåned siden
  • Love the engineering but about as green as Mars.

    Mel BMel BMåned siden
  • Use carbon fiber👌🏻

    Indika JeparaIndika JeparaMåned siden
  • 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 BMåned siden
  • reinventing the wheel while we already have safe, cheap and efficient nuclear technology available

    Ackchyually 94Ackchyually 94Måned siden
    • @infinitelyExplosive in a long run - yes

      Ackchyually 94Ackchyually 94Måned siden
    • cheap?

      infinitelyExplosiveinfinitelyExplosiveMåned siden
  • This channel is getting weirder and weirder exponentially. Peak FKN BS would be the honest channel name

    Lone WolfLone WolfMåned siden
  • 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 bloggsMåned siden
  • 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.

  • F to all the Wind Turbines that froze in Texas 💀💀

    rocKEt LauNCHERrocKEt LauNCHERMåned siden
  • What the fuck. Natural gas is gas, it emits greenhouses effect gases. Stop green washing it.

    OldstalkOldstalkMåned siden
  • Two minutes and forty seconds with irrelevant propaganda. I came for the limits to size.

    Christian AastorpChristian AastorpMåned siden
  • Železničná doprava musí byť bez železa múdry postaví opačne zo železa blázon 🤪 postaví železničnú dopravu bez železa

    Pacaj AlbertPacaj AlbertMåned siden
  • 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.

    AzrudiAzrudiMåned siden
  • 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 AnsaMåned siden
  • 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 AmMåned siden
    • Yeah the x axis is wrong.

      Fifth GamingFifth GamingMåned siden
  • No. the point is to save our planet

    • AR • Productions• AR • ProductionsMåned siden
  • How is texas doing right now cause of thier wind turbines?

    Mike HawkMike HawkMåned siden
    • LOL

      J AnsaJ AnsaMåned siden
  • 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 måneder siden
  • 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 måneder siden
    • Wrong and easily disprovable:

      WhomThouDoesNotKnowWhomThouDoesNotKnow2 måneder siden
  • "Yeet"... had to look that one up.

    John SimonJohn Simon2 måneder siden
  • 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 måneder siden
  • a video on cryptocurrency

    Naman RajputNaman Rajput2 måneder siden
  • 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 måneder siden
  • My wind turbine are bigger than those in Europe. Sound like a phallic reference

    New Jersey LionNew Jersey Lion2 måneder siden

      belly tripperbelly tripper2 måneder siden
  • The faster the tip speed The louder the noise (what?)

    The message manThe message man2 måneder siden
  • haha "the limits of Watt was possible"

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

    VestasVestas2 måneder siden
  • Big enough to destroy our environment!

    Terence IutziTerence Iutzi2 måneder siden
    • @Shamrock what is the largest ingredient in the iron used to make the rotor? Coal. Have yo ever looked at making carbon fiber? You start with a large amount of a special plastic made from oil, then you pull it for a few hundred hours in a huge machine to align the molecules then you put it in an electric oven, pump out all of the atmosphere heat it to 1800 degrees and inject a clorrine atmospher to bur off all of the hydrogen! And you get about one tenth as much carbon fibre . The ore for the rare earth magnets is mined in Africa than shipped on freighters burning bunker C oil to China. there they use huge amounts of water and electricity to refine it. The by product is a radioactive slurry that they dump in a huge lake! Then every ting is shipped all over the world on huge freighter burning Bunker C! Check out some of the ports where they arrive and see how little is on a ship!

      Terence IutziTerence Iutzi2 måneder siden
    • @Terence Iutzi I have looked it as a matter a fact and it is far cleaner than coal. Where as wind only requires production of parts every three decades coal requires building multiple, large factories, maintaining them, mining coal out of the ground which in of itself requires production of mining equipment and a mine as well as severely scarring the land, transporting the coal, an extremely high carbon emission process and burning it, another extremely damaging process Coal is far worse than wind

      ShamrockShamrock2 måneder siden
    • Look at what they are made of,howmuch electricity is required to make them how many thousand tons of coal are used and how many million tons of bunker C is used to transport all of the minerals? Dirty coal plants are a lot cleaner!

      Terence IutziTerence Iutzi2 måneder siden
    • How?

      ShamrockShamrock2 måneder siden
  • Notice the V cubed. Nuff said

    Adrian DawsonAdrian Dawson2 måneder siden
  • Working on site in Normandy pouring the cement bases, they are insane

    Marc-AntoineMarc-Antoine2 måneder siden
  • environmental vandalism / killers of eagles/ epitome of ugliness / a recycling nightmare/ they should be installed in Capitol Hill

    Joseph De - ZordiJoseph De - Zordi2 måneder siden
    • Those are by far the stupidest criticisms of a power source ever

      ShamrockShamrock2 måneder siden
  • Natural Gas is a fossil fuel, and has no place already in a world choking on CO2 fumes. Get you wind and tidal up and running before you kill the planet. Thumbs down

    Richard S WigginsRichard S Wiggins2 måneder siden
  • How big can they be? This will be dictated by the construction materials.i can draft them with 2 mile long blades,2,4,6,10 blades.3 miles tall...but nobody can afford to build and operate such machines..big is not always better in this feild.the wind turbon is only one part of a system.the cheapest part.the infrastructure to make it work effectively is the big job and highest cost...iv seen it all,been there done that.youll figure it out when your power bill is 5 times higher than you expected.

    Oliver TaylorOliver Taylor2 måneder siden
  • Wind is good clean power system.fine for small blocks of land,but must have copper lo loss transmission lines to be effective.americias copper done been sold to China for you're screwed before you start,hello..they not telling you would have to totaly overhaul the grid costing manny trillions.then you could not afford the cost of the power.hello..dumb

    Oliver TaylorOliver Taylor2 måneder siden
  • Seatwirl.

    Viktor OlssonViktor Olsson2 måneder siden
  • Looks like wind power would be comparable with Molten Salt Nuclear Reactors that stores power in hot Molten Salt. This way CO2 from using natural gas to back up wind power can be eliminated.

    Stanley TolleStanley Tolle2 måneder siden
  • Based on an article the structure has 260 m to the top of the blade. Eiffel tower is 324 metres tall - that means way higher. Is the visualisation wrong or am I making a mistake?

    Branislav KundrákBranislav Kundrák2 måneder siden
  • @Real Engineering - 2:00 - Hopefully this won't go amiss but I'd be REmiss in my duties not to inform you of this minor grammatical faux pas.

    llYossarianllYossarian2 måneder siden
  • It's not 255 it's 225

    sachin patelsachin patel2 måneder siden
  • Oh yeah, a question I've had even since I was in kindergarten/early primary school days was that why not just use the electricity gained from wind turbines to spin the wind turbine so that it creates electricity without help from the wind as the blade would be spinning due to a motor instead while the electricity used to power the turbine would come from the turbine. It's something I never really understood till now (I'm Secondary 1, for Americans that's the 8'th Grade)

    The ContinuationThe Continuation2 måneder siden
  • Amazing video as always, absolutely love it. Small correction I wanted to note: Antonov An-225.

    WheatleyOSWheatleyOS2 måneder siden