One Viewpoint Concerning Unit Size in the Development of Wind Turbines

[+] Author and Article Information
W. E. Howell, C. J. Todd

Office of Atmospheric Resources Research, Bureau of Reclamation, Denver, Colo. 80225

J. Sol. Energy Eng 103(4), 306-312 (Nov 01, 1981) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3266258 History: Received September 21, 1981; Online November 11, 2009


The size of wind machines best adopted for early penetration toward large-scale use is affected by the size of the national interim windpower goal (170 GW average power by 2000 AD) and the experience rate coupling cost of power to number of machines produced. Windpower mission studies made in 1976 are modified in the light of various goal-size and experience-rate assumptions, resulting in a rather flat cost minimum near 0.3–0.6 MW, suggesting that other considerations may be decisive. Several of these assumptions are discussed, leading to the conclusion that, although larger machines may prevail in the long run, moderate sizes are best suited to the early commercialization phase.

Copyright © 1981 by ASME
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