How long does a wind turbine last? The design life of a good quality modern wind turbine is 20 years. Depending on how windy and turbulent the site is, the turbine could last for 25 years or even longer, though as with anything mechanical, the maintenance costs will increase as it gets older.
It is unlikely that a wind turbine would last longer than this because they are subjected to quite extreme loads throughout their lives. This is partly due to the shape of a wind turbine, where the key elements (the blades and the tower) are only fixed at one end and subjected to the full force of the wind. Also because the power in the wind increases with the cube of the speed, the extreme survival loads can be almost 100 times the ‘design loads’ at rated wind speed – which is why wind turbines must shut down to protect themselves in winds above 25 m/s. At the end of its life it can simply be removed and replaced with a new one.
Want to install a wind turbine?
If you are in the UK then take our Wind Site Self-Assessment - Step 1 of our modular Windpower Feasibility Study. It takes about 20 minutes to work through the basic checks to see if your site might be suitable, including:
- Estimating wind speed
- Checking proximity of nearby properties
- Checking site access and approach roads
- Investigating connection with the grid