25 Feb As the huge wings sail by, cutting the air, they make a gentle
The massive farms harnessing an invisible force
There is nothing out here to highlight the scale canada goose outlet nyc of these machines. A blue grey sky hangs behind the enormous structures; canada goose outlet canada the boat we are on, 4 canada goose outlet uk miles (7km) offshore from canada goose outlet Liverpool, bobs excitedly up and down on the swell of the sea. We come to the Burbo Bank Extension canada goose outlet shop wind farm to see an engineering marvel: the largest wind turbines in the world.
When one canada goose outlet jackets of the turbine blades swings to its highest point, it reaches 195m (640ft) making these structures nearly twice as tall as Big Ben. The diameter of the turbines three colossal blades is greater canada goose outlet new york city than that of the London Eye. As the huge wings sail by, cutting the air, they make a gentle swooshing sound.
cheap Canada Goose The very first offshore wind farm was a Danish project. But Britain now leads the world. The largest offshore wind farm on Earth is the UK London Array, a massive site of 175 turbines in the outer Thames estuary. Up to 5.2GW of electricity are provided by the country offshore turbines almost as much as the rest of Europe sea based wind farms put together, official canada goose outlet with more than two thirds of continental Europe’s capacity. Beyond Europe, the rest of the world offshore wind totals just a few gigawatts. cheap Canada Goose
Canada Goose Online Industry insiders canada goose outlet say the significance of tapping the power provided by coastal winds ever more cheaply should not be underestimated. In December 2016, the World Economic Forum reported canada goose outlet parka that as the cost of producing wind turbines has fallen by more than 30% in the last three years, the cost of electricity from wind power has fallen to $50 canada goose black friday sale per megawatt hour on average worldwide, without subsidies. That half the cost of coal. Canada Goose Online
The cost of electricity from wind power has fallen to canada goose outlet in usa $50 per megawatt hour on average worldwide, without subsidies half the cost of coal
canada goose coats Even offshore wind, specifically which requires especially difficult engineering and rugged structures still is cheaper than nuclear power per megawatt hour. canada goose coats
Canada Goose Coats On Sale As canada goose outlet uk sale a result, Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands and others are investing in wind and countries like China and South Korea are beginning to take an interest, too. Canada Goose Coats On Sale
Burbo Bank is a demonstration of just how quickly offshore wind has evolved. The original canada goose outlet online uk wind farm, built just 10 years ago, comprised 25 3.6MW turbines enough capacity to power about 80,000 homes. The Burbo Bank Extension boasts 32 8MW turbines, providing nearly three times the old farm capacity.
Canada Goose Parka View image of An offshore substation at Burbo Bank (Credit: Chris Baraniuk) Canada Goose Parka
canada goose factory sale a big difference, says Benj Sykes, vice president and head of asset management at the Danish firm Dong Energy, which installed the Burbo Bank Extension. I think that testament to the progress in technology over the last 10 years. single rotation of one of those giant blades, he says, could power an average canada goose outlet store British home for 29 hours. Spinning at their fastest, the blades rotate nearly 30 times per minute. But there are limits to how much force these giant rotors can harness. If spun too fast, the motion could damage the turbine, so the blades are canada goose outlet store uk designed to lock in place when a gale picks up. canada goose factory sale
canada goose clearance sale But turbines need to be maintained once they are constructed. As they are far from shore, that can be difficult. In Liverpool, teams of shift technicians tend to the lonely structures of Burbo Bank. the exact same thing you do to your car, says supervisor Justin Monaghan. it breaks down, you go in and find out what is wrong. on the problem, Monaghan and his team might fix or replace electrical gear, hydraulics or moving parts. Each structure canada goose jacket outlet has its own barrel of food and water inside just in case the weather changes suddenly and a technician has canada goose outlet black friday to wait it out. canada goose clearance sale
View image of Because offshore wind turbines sit so far from land, maintenance can be canada goose outlet toronto factory difficult (Credit: Credit: Chris Baraniuk)
canada goose uk outlet Right now, that an extremely rare occurrence thanks to detailed forecasts and careful monitoring of the weather while workers are out on the turbines. But living on site at an offshore wind farm may soon be part of the job. The next landmark project canada goose outlet sale for the offshore wind industry is Hornsea, off the north west coast of England. The site itself will be far from shore: 120km away. Instead of being ferried back and forth, up to 150 technicians will live in offshore accommodation, not unlike those who work on oil platforms. canada goose uk outlet
canada goose coats on sale You can build on water. But you can drive long piles down into the seabed to provide a foundation. canada goose coats on sale
Canada Goose Outlet The depths at which this is done vary greatly the deepest in Europe being around 40m. There are plans to develop floating offshore wind farms at even greater depths, though, with one such project recently given planning permission in Aberdeen. Canada Goose Outlet
Canada Goose online Once goose outlet canada a foundational pile is in place, however, a piece that brings the structure above sea level is added. Canada Goose online
Finally, the turbine itself, and each of the three blades, is winched into place.
When completed in 2021, phase one of Hornsea construction alone will make it the largest offshore wind farm in the world with a capacity of up to 1.2GW. Depending on planning for the final stages, the entire farm could have 4 6GW of capacity when completed in the mid 2020s enough to power more than four million homes, or roughly 15% of all the homes in the UK.
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canada goose black friday sale Even more remote projects are already being brainstormed by developers. There is a proposal to build an artificial island in the middle canada goose outlet online of the North Sea with hundreds of turbines encircling it. Power lines to the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Norway, Belgium and Great Britain could divide the electricity between them. Capacity estimates vary, but some range from 70 100GW more than all of the nuclear power stations in France put together. canada goose black friday sale
A wind farm like that would take decades to plan and construct, however, and for now it remains a relatively distant prospect.
uk canada goose Instead, most expect the UK to continue its investment in offshore wind simply by building up wind farms on a similar scale to those already in existence. is huge potential, says Joel Meggelaars of trade body Wind Europe. UK and the North Sea is a very windy region. Meggelaars explains that the load factor of British turbines the amount of energy actually produced is unusually high. In December last year, http://www.canadagoosecanadaoutlet.com offshore turbines in the UK clocked an average load of 68.2% of total capacity. For many offshore farms elsewhere, the figure is often less than 50%. uk canada goose
Canada Goose Jackets The bigger turbines get, the better the power output. While 8MW may be the current maximum, Meggelaars expects this to roughly double in 10 years. Canada Goose Jackets
canada goose store View image of The bigger turbines get, the better the power output (Credit: Chris Baraniuk) canada goose store
Turbines can stand in remote spots for as much as 25 years with ongoing maintenance. Unlike solar energy, of course, they also provide power during the night so long as it windy.
There are downsides to offshore wind, however. As well as being costly to install and maintain, the turbines may have a detrimental impact on wildlife. Critics say that they are particularly disruptive to colonies of birds like gannets and kittiwakes, and a proposed extension to London Array was blocked in court due to the threat posed to seabirds.
Others say the vibrations of the turbines could disorient whales. However, beyond the noise of installing canada goose outlet reviews the piles that the turbines are placed on which is very loud it is not known how harmful sound generated by the normal operation of the machines may be. There more public enthusiasm than land based farms, too. Despite some complaints that they tarnish sea views, there is evidence that a majority of people are in favour of them. One poll in 2016 found that 73% of the public supported offshore wind farms.