with the collaboration of Iranian Society of Mechanical Engineers (ISME)

Document Type : Research Article


1 MSc Student in Department of Biosystem Engineering, Faculty of Agricultural Engineering, Sari Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources University, Iran

2 Department of Biosystem Engineering, Faculty of Agricultural Engineering, Sari Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources University, Iran


The world’s growing population has led to an inevitable increase in energy demand, and this, in addition to the depletion of non-renewable energy sources, can lead to several environmental issues. Wind power has proven to be a reliable and sustainable source of electricity, particularly in light of the pressing need to mitigate environmental impact and promote the use of renewable energy. The purpose of this research is to investigate and compare the environmental effects of electricity production from two wind power plants, Aqkand and Kahak, using wind turbines with a capacity of 2.5 megawatts for a period of three different lifetimes (20, 25, and 30 years).
Materials and Methods
The present study investigates the environmental effects of electricity generation during the life cycle of wind farms (Kahak and Aqkand) during the construction and operation of these power plants and the cumulative exergy demand index. The specifications of the wind turbines used in the current research are: turbine capacity of 2.5 MW, rotor diameter of 103 meters, rotor weight of 56 tonnes, three blades, each blade is 50.3 meters long and weighs 34.8 tonnes. The turbines are manufactured by Mapna and used in dry conditions. A functional unit of one kilowatt of electricity was selected and the data were analyzed in SIMAPRO software using IMPACT2002+ method with 15 midpoint indicators and four final indicators.
Results and Discussion
The results showed that the stage of raw materials and production has the highest impact on the creation of midpoint indicators, which is due to extraction, manufacturing, and production of parts such as steel casting using non-renewable energy and activities such as high-temperature welding. The total environmental index of Aqkand and Kahak wind power plants for 1 kWh of generated electricity was 5.84 and 4.45 μPt respectively, more than half of which belongs to the damage to human health category. The investigation of the ionizing radiation index showed that the use of diesel fuel in the installation phase resulted in the highest amount of emissions in both of the power plants, so the share of pollutant emissions in the raw materials and production phase is more than 40%, and in the installation phase due to diesel fuel consumption was more than 48%. The investigation of the eutrophication index showed that the raw materials and production stage accounted for more than 95% of the damage to the ecosystem quality category, and in the meantime, copper and electrical components had the highest amount of contribution to the raw materials and production stage. Additionally, diesel fuel accounted for the largest part of the result in the installation stage, and the transportation and maintenance stage included less than 1% of this result. The investigation of the renewable energy consumption index showed that the stage of raw materials and turbine production in the Aqkand power plant with a share of 68% and the Kahak power plant with a share of 70% had the greatest effect on the category of resource damage. Also, the installation and commissioning phase was the second most effective factor in the category of resource damage due to the use of diesel fuel. The study of the cumulative exergy demand index showed that non-renewable-fossil resources had the largest share in exergy demand (0.15 MJ) to produce one kilowatt of electricity generated from power plants.
In this study, the results showed that in both plants, about 70% of various respiratory effects, 60% of human health issues, and 25% of acidification and global warming are caused in the raw materials and manufacturing phase. Furthermore, the installation phase is responsible for 17% and 16% of climate change in the Aqkand and Kahak power plants respectively, and between 14% and 26% of other environmental factors.


Main Subjects

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