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Max Bögl Wind puts turbine on THE tallest tower, 178m. Blade tip to 246.5m
Windpower October 27, 2017 Paul Dvorak
More height, greater efficiency, and more power: That is the aspiration behind Max Bögl Wind AG and their hybrid towers for wind power plants. The pioneering spirit of this Bavarian company is now in full view in the town of Gaildorf near Stuttgart, home of the world’s tallest onshore wind turbine. Located in the Limpurg Hills with a hub height of 178 meters and a total height of 246.5 meters, this wind turbine is a clear sign that Max Bögl Wind AG is pushing the boundaries when it comes to harvesting wind energy.
This height record is possible in part due to the natural water reservoir built into the turbine. The wind farm in Gaildorf is not just any wind farm, but one based on a totally new power plant concept – the water battery – a technological innovation that is setting new industry standards. For the first time ever, power generation from renewable energy is combined with a modern pumped-storage power plant. This new storage concept uses the foundation of the wind turbine as a water reservoir, which results in a 40-meter increase in the height of the turbine. This is hugely beneficial because each additional meter of hub height added to a wind turbine increases the annual energy yield by 0.5 to 1%. High hub heights mean less wind turbulence and significantly better wind yield, especially for inland locations with weak wind conditions.
The world’s tallest wind turbine is part of a wind farm that consists of four wind turbines with hub heights ranging from 155 to 178 meters. Equipped with 3.4-MW generators from GE, they will begin supplying clean energy to the German power grid in spring 2018.
Innovative power sources and storage
The foundations of the wind turbine towers in Gaildorf are water reservoirs with a storage capacity of 70-megawatt-hours (MWh). A penstock connects them with a hydroelectric power station and its lower reservoir located 200 meters deeper into the valley. The water battery, which was also referred to as natural power storage in the Gaildorf pilot project, can store surplus power from the grid and release it when necessary. It acts as a short-term storage facility and helps maintain grid stability while guaranteeing a continuous, uninterrupted supply of power. The pumped-storage plant is able to switch between production and storage within 30 seconds.