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

Matthew Ozoemena, Wai Ming Cheung, Reaz Hasan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)
22 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)173-190
Number of pages18
JournalClean Technologies and Environmental Policy
Volume20
Issue number1
Early online date25 Nov 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2018

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Comparative LCA of technology improvement opportunities for a 1.5 MW wind turbine in the context of an onshore wind farm'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this