Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Enormous Wind Turbine Being Built in China

Alan Coffey, who writes The Digital Federalist, highlights this design for an enormous wind turbine being built in China.
Alan writes, "the claims are breathtaking," as are the specifications, reported by Inhabit.com:
Here’s how it works: the vertically oriented blades of the wind turbine are suspended in the air above the base of the machine, replacing the need for ball bearings. The turbine uses “full-permanent” magnets, not electromagnets — therefore, it does not require electricty to run. The full-permanent magnet system employs neodymium (“rare earth”) magnets and there is no energy loss through friction. This also helps reduce maintenance costs and increases the lifespan of the generator.
Maglev wind turbines have several advantages over conventional wind turbines. For instance, they’re able to use winds with starting speeds as low as 1.5 meters per second (m/s). Also, they could operate in winds exceeding 40 m/s. Currently, the largest conventional wind turbines in the world produce only five megawatts of power. However, one large maglev wind turbine could generate one gigawatt of clean power, enough to supply energy to 750,000 homes. It would also increase generation capacity by 20% over conventional wind turbines and decrease operational costs by 50%. If that isn’t enough, the maglev wind turbines will be operational for about 500 years!
Extravagant claims indeed. One of these monsters would provide more than the power needs of Delaware. So could one work for Delaware? It's unlikely.
This new wind turbine don't appear to be designed for offshore wind power, and thus would be best suited for the wind swept prairies of Texas, for instance. Connecting one to the grid would be a challenge. Each of these would have to be matched to a sufficiently large load to make engineering and economic sense and be matched by other energy sources. So for those who advise passing on the proposed offshore wind farm for Delaware and waiting for the next big thing, this is it—and it wouldn't fit here.
These behemoths could be more easily attached to the grid in China, which is growing by more than 12 million residents a year. To accommodate these millions, China has embarked on a program to build entirely new cities from scratch every year.

10 Comments:

Anonymous Nick Fernandez said...

Wow! This is really encouraging! 1 gigawatt is pretty serious. Hopefully China is realizing that just because it has such massive coal reserves doesn't mean it makes sense to use them. Shanghai and Beijing being case in point.

10:30 PM, November 28, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't help picturing 5000 peasants in the bottom of this thing pushing on big wooden spokes going round and round...

12:02 AM, November 29, 2007  
Blogger TommyWonk said...

Clearly a society capable of designing and building such a remarkable invention has moved well beyond the peasant culture we traditionally associate with China.

8:40 AM, November 29, 2007  
Blogger Paul Smith Jr. said...

However, one large maglev wind turbine could generate one gigawatt of clean power, enough to supply energy to 750,000 homes.

But it's still not enough to send Marty Back to the Future.

9:28 AM, November 29, 2007  
Anonymous Alan Coffey said...

Tom:

My uncle found problems with the big turbine. Look at his comment on my previous post:
http://blog.alancoffey.com/?p=165#comment-5517

My other Uncle - who makes magnets for use in space stations and research facilities - says the whole thing is vaporware and will never be seen.

Still everyone is working on so little information at this point that it is worth keeping an eye on.

3:10 PM, November 29, 2007  
Anonymous Dr. Brown said...

ONE POINT TWENTY ONE GIGAWATS!!!

11:53 PM, November 29, 2007  
Anonymous kavips said...

nope, that doesn't work either.

6:20 AM, December 01, 2007  
Anonymous Nancy said...

China, which is growing by more than 12 million residents a year. To accommodate these millions, China has embarked on a program to build entirely new cities from scratch every year.

*
Hey Tom, we are building cities from scratch here in Delaware - Jay Sonecha and Pam Scott-Paul Clarky are building the City of Bayberry south of the canal and there are several small city sized communities in the works down state.

11:33 AM, December 01, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just. E. LookSee


Howdy. The large wind turbine
in the article actually refers to a proposed version by an Arizona Company. The Chinese are currently building the factory to mass produce much, much smaller maglev turbines.

9:54 AM, December 08, 2007  
Blogger Alex said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

1:49 AM, October 22, 2009  

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