How many pounds of copper are in a wind turbine?

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jgeertz's profile pic

jgeertz | College Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted on

The number of pounds of copper in a wind turbine will vary from model to model. For example, a Vesta V80, 1.8 MW, contains an estimated 6,600 - 7,700 pounds of copper! In a typical wind turbine, copper is used in the power cables, control cables, instrument cables, cooling and heating systems, the generator, transformer, and grounding system. Additionally an average generator weight may equal 8.5 tons and be composed of 35% copper and 65% steel. Copper is a natural choice for green energy wind turbines since it is easily recycled and readily available.

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dweedledum360's profile pic

dweedledum360 | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted on

Well, it varies with how large the wind turbine is and how much electricity is generated by the turbine. To put this into persepctive, the Vesta V90 wind turbine that generates 3 Mw of power requires 9400 lbs of copper.

dweedledum360's profile pic

dweedledum360 | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted on

(my answer continued, sorry forgot to mention this)

In comparison, a 10 ft diameter wind turbine has only around 6 lbs of copper in it and produces only around 700 w at around 400 rpm. A 20 ft diameter wind turbine had around 25 lbs of copper and produces around 4 kilowatts at 200 rpm.

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