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If there is an 11kW wind turbine, and a 15kW wind turbine. Why is the 15 kw wind turbine more expensive?

I know it seems like a basic question, but what exactly makes it more expensive? Is it only the generator? Or is there something less obvious that causes it to drive the turbine price higher, with higher power?

I am hypothesizing that the weight of the turbine might be the major factor that determines the price of the turbine, and not its generator capacity.

Any additional thoughts are welcome.

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    $\begingroup$ Materials and labor. $\endgroup$ May 17 '18 at 15:36
  • $\begingroup$ It is more expensive because it produces more income. These things operate in an environment where the levelized cost of energy is fixed by other technology. They are priced to perform at that LCOE. $\endgroup$
    – Phil Sweet
    May 18 '18 at 2:44
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Where does the power for a wind turbine come from? Answer - the wind.

So how do you get 15kW from the wind rather than 11kW? Answer - you either need a location with a higher wind speed, or you need to pick up more wind, i.e. the blades need to be longer.

How does this affect cost? Answer - a longer blade needs more material for its extra length. But then you're also taking more force, so that needs extra material along the blade too. And the extra force means the turbine tower needs to be stronger, so more material for that too. It all adds up.

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There are many points which directly affects the cost of wind turbine.

  1. Before installing any wind turbine plant for 1 to 2 years of data analysis of wind density , direction and speed are done by engineer for success of plant which require money and resources.
  2. Plants needs lands for installing turbines also land cost depends on market scenario.
  3. Height plays major role in wind turbine which make's it costly to install at height.
  4. Transportation of large wind blades, large poles, motors, machineries and many more materials from production line to the installation area determine it's cost.
  5. Labours are one of the another factor which determine the cost of turbine, we need skilled labour which is directly proportional to cost.
  6. Technological aspect of wind turbine like which type of motor is used and how long turbine blades is used so that it can generate power per rotation.
  7. The major consideration of wind turbine is power storage device used to store generated power so that it can transmit when needed ,so larger storing device is needed which affect cost of wind turbine.
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There's manufacturing cost, and then there's optimum sale price. You charge what the market will bear, and people tend to pay more for "bigger" things.

Historically, this law of economics caused major headaches for American car manufacturers in the mid-70s. Fuel prices led to demand for small cars, and consumers expected that a car half the size of typical American sedans would cost half as much. But since material costs are a small fraction of total manufacturing cost, this didn't happen.

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