wind turbine size

Chart showing growth in demand for large wind turbines

Demand for wind turbines of greater size has increased dramatically over the past three decades.

For a given survivable wind speed, the mass of a turbine is approximately proportional to the cube of its blade-length. Wind power intercepted by the turbine is proportional to the square of its blade-length. The maximum blade-length of a turbine is limited by both the strength and stiffness of its material.


Labor and maintenance costs increase only gradually with increasing turbine size, so to minimize costs, wind farm turbines are basically limited by the strength of materials, and siting requirements.


Typical modern wind turbines have diameters of 40 to 90 meters and are rated between 500 kW and 2 megawatts. In 2005, the most powerful turbine was rated at 6 MW.