What’s Behind The Steady Increase In Wind Power?

by | Jan 15, 2021

Over the past couple of decades, renewable wind power has become an increasingly popular energy option for national governments, the world over. Given the increasingly pressing climate crisis, seeking out greener energy has never been as important as it is today. The team here at Borehole Solutions, who often carry out geotechnical sampling services prior to the implementation of renewable energy projects, wanted to take a look at these tall, towering turbines in a little more detail.

 

Facts About Wind Power

Globally, wind power is one of the fastest-growing sources of renewable energy. In fact, if you look at worldwide electricity usage at the end of 2018, you see that wind power accounted for almost 5% (4.8%). Whilst this might seem a still relatively small figure, given that only four years prior that figure was down at 3.1%, it’s clearly a rapidly growing sector.

Wind turbines are also becoming increasingly sophisticated. Generally, the higher the wind speed, the more electricity you’re able to generate. When the first wind electricity-generating turbine was erected all the way, back in 1887 in Scotland, it stood at what would now be seen as a tiddly ten metres tall. Some of today’s most recent turbines have an eye-watering total height of 246.5 metres. That’s some upgrade!

They’re not just big nowadays, either. They’re numerous. If you want to know how big and how numerous, well let’s take a look at the Gansu Wind Farm, in China. Comprising multiple smaller farms under one larger umbrella branch, the Gansu farm has a staggering 7,000 wind turbines, in total…

Onshore Vs. Offshore

The debate between onshore and offshore wind farms, and which is preferable, is one that’s long since been raging. For almost as long as they’ve been around, one of the main criticisms of wind turbines has been their unsightly nature. That’s why, for many people, wind farms out at sea provide the perfect solution – out of sight, out of mind, right? And it’s not just the aesthetics that tip the scales in offshore’s favour, in terms of efficacy. Offshore conditions tend to generate faster, more consistent winds which in turn generates more electricity, more consistently.

 

What Geotechnical Work Is Required?

Before any onshore wind turbines are installed, the ground conditions need to be proved suitable for any subsequent work. One of the most effective means of sampling for these scenarios is window sampling. The samples returned by the window sampling rig (at Borehole Solutions, we typically use the Dando Terrier) are then analysed. From this analysis, ground suitability can be determined.

A Quick Overview Of Window Sampling

For a comprehensive rundown of how window sampling works, read our previous blog post on the topic, here! In short, however, the process involves the following:

  • A hydraulic hammer is used to rods and tubes into the ground. These create a borehole.
  • The rods are hammered down to the requisite depth, and soil enters the sample tube as this happens.
  • The sample tubes are then retrieved, from which the soil cores can be analysed and assessed in more detail.

 

Contact Borehole Solutions

If you’d like to find out more about our window sampling services, or any of our other geotechnical work, then get in touch! Contact Borehole Solutions today on 01733 200 501 or by emailing us at info@boreholesolutions.com.