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The maximum useable wind energy – the Betz’ limit.

Not all the wind wind energy can be extracted. We discuss the principles used to find the maximum useable wind energy – the Betz’ limit.

The blowing wind contains kinetic energy. As stated earlier, not all this kinetic energy can be extracted. The maximum is limited by the Betz’ limit. In this lecture we will look into the principles used the find the Betz’ limit without diving too deep into the details.

Learning outcome.

  • Understand the basic principles used in establishing the Betz’ limit.
  • Knowledge about the induction factor and the corresponding power and thrust coefficients.


After having watched the video, reflect upon the following:

  • How large is A0/A1 and A2/A1 for the optimum induction factor?
  • How large is the thrust coefficient at optimum induction factor?
  • Is the basic assumptions realistic when considering a HAWT?

Further reading.

Nielsen, F. G. (2024) Offshore Wind Energy: Environmental Conditions and Dynamics of Fixed and Floating Turbines, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.

Hansen, M.O.L. (2015) Aerodynamics of Wind Turbines. Third Edition, Routledge, London and New York.

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Introduction to Offshore Wind Energy

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