The latest episode in the American Chemical Society's (ACS') award-winning Global Challenges/Chemistry Solutions podcast series concludes that the larger the wind turbine, the greener the electricity it produces. The study could solidify the trend toward construction of gigantic windmills.
Based on a report by Marloes Caduff in ACS' journal Environmental Science & Technology, the new podcast is available without charge at iTunes and from www.acs.org/globalchallenges.
In the new episode, Caduff, a graduate student, and Stefanie Hellweg, Ph.D., her advisor, explain that wind power is an increasingly popular source of electricity. It provides almost 2 percent of global electricity worldwide, a figure expected to approach 10 percent by 2020. The size of the turbines also is increasing. One study shows that the average size of commercial turbines has grown 10-fold in the last 30 years, to nearly 500 feet today. Although their study only investigated land-based wind turbines that were up to 300 feet in diameter, super-giant turbines approaching 1,000 feet in diameter might exist someday.
Caduff, Hellweg and colleagues wanted to determine whether building larger turbines makes wind energy more or less environmentally friendly. Their study showed that bigger turbines do produce greener electricity — for two main reasons. First, advanced materials and designs permit the efficient construction of large turbine blades that harness more wind without proportional increases in their mass or the masses of the tower and the nacelle that houses the generator. Second, over time and with more production, manufacturers gain knowledge on how to efficiently build big wind turbines. That means more clean power without large increases in the amount of material needed for construction or fuel needed for transportation.
Global Challenges/Chemistry Solutions is a series of podcasts describing some of the 21st century's most daunting problems, and how cutting-edge research in chemistry matters in the quest for solutions. Global Challenges is the centerpiece in an alliance on sustainability between ACS and the Royal Society of Chemistry. Global Challenges is a sweeping panorama of global challenges that includes dilemmas such as providing a hungry and thirsty world with ample supplies of safe food and clean water, developing alternatives to petroleum to fuel society, preserving the environment and ensuring a sustainable future for our children and improving human health.
For more entertaining, informative science videos and podcasts from the ACS Office of Public Affairs, view Prized Science, Spellbound, Science Elements and Global Challenges/Chemistry Solutions.
The American Chemical Society is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. With more than 164,000 members, ACS is the world's largest scientific society and a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.
To automatically receive news releases from the American Chemical Society, contact email@example.com.
Michael Bernstein | EurekAlert!
Ultrathin device harvests electricity from human motion
24.07.2017 | Vanderbilt University
Stanford researchers develop a new type of soft, growing robot
21.07.2017 | Stanford University
3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects
A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...
Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.
For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...
What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.
To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...
The research team of Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Biochemistry has long been exploring the functioning of nitrogenase....
A one trillion tonne iceberg - one of the biggest ever recorded -- has calved away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica, after a rift in the ice,...
21.07.2017 | Event News
19.07.2017 | Event News
12.07.2017 | Event News
24.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
24.07.2017 | Materials Sciences
24.07.2017 | Materials Sciences