Comparative LCA of technology improvement opportunities for a 1.5 MW wind turbine in the context of an onshore wind farm

Ozoemena, Matthew, Cheung, Wai Ming and Hasan, Reaz (2018) Comparative LCA of technology improvement opportunities for a 1.5 MW wind turbine in the context of an onshore wind farm. Clean Technologies and Environmental Policy, 20 (1). pp. 173-190. ISSN 1618-954X

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This paper presents life cycle assessment (LCA) results of design variations for a 1.5 MW wind turbine due to the potential for advances in technology to improve their performance. Five LCAs have been conducted for design variants of a 1.5 MW wind turbine. The objective is to evaluate potential environmental impacts per kilowatt hour of electricity generated for a 114 MW onshore wind farm. Results for the baseline turbine show that higher contributions to impacts were obtained in the categories of Ozone Depletion Potential, Marine Aquatic Eco-toxicity Potential, Human Toxicity Potential and Terrestrial Eco-toxicity Potential compared to Technology Improvement Opportunities (TIOs) 1 to 4. Compared to the baseline turbine, TIO 1 with advanced rotors and reduced tower mass showed increased impact contributions to Abiotic Depletion Potential, Acidification Potential, Eutrophication Potential, Global Warming Potential and Photochemical Ozone Creation Potential, and TIO 2 with a new tower concept involving improved tower height showed an increase in contributions to Abiotic Depletion Potential, Acidification Potential and Global Warming Potential. Additionally, lower contributions to all the environmental categories were observed for TIO 3 with drivetrain improvements using permanent magnet generators while increased contributions towards Abiotic Depletion Potential and Global Warming Potential were noted for TIO 4 which combines TIO 1, TIO 2 and TIO 3. A comparative LCA study of wind turbine design variations for a particular power rating has not been explored in the literature. This study presents new insight into the environmental implications related with projected wind turbine design advancements.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 1.5 MW wind turbine design variants, LCA, technology improvement opportunities, wind farm, electricity production, potential technology advancements
Subjects: H100 General Engineering
H300 Mechanical Engineering
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Mechanical and Construction Engineering
Depositing User: Wai Ming Cheung
Date Deposited: 22 Nov 2017 12:35
Last Modified: 17 Mar 2018 20:02

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