Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Wind turbine

  1. Oct 6, 2008 #1
    can someone explain in simple terms what does 1mw wind turbine mean?

    how many houses can this power?

    if it is a 500w turbine, how many houses can this power?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 6, 2008 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    1 MW is one mega watt. It is the rated power capacity of the wind turbine for a given (and constant) wind speed.

    It depends on the capacity factor of the wind turbine and the household consumption. The capacity factor depends largely on the average wind speed. A typical capacity factor would be between 0.25 and 0.40. The average household consumption in the US is about 10,600 kWh per year (according to the DOE).

    Therefore, the number of houses in the US that can be powered by a 1 MW wind turbine would be 1,000,000 x 0.40 x 8760 / 10600 = 331 homes.

    Use the same approach as above to find this.

Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook