The Mini and the Mega
New designs in wind turbines are emerging from at least two directions. One in China, where small scale MagLev turbines with outputs up to 5Kw are being produced, to an Arizona based company MagLev Turbine Technology are planning the concept on the GRAND scale.
The idea is that these turbines would have very little bearing friction and would therefore operate at very low wind speeds and require much less maintenance. Speeds as low as a 3.3-MPH breeze have been mentioned.
These efficiencies will allow cheaper power generation. The company are claiming that its design is so efficient that it can produce power for less than 2 cent per kilowatt hour.
The US company have plans to gear up to a MASSIVE sized baby. The makers are looking at a 1000 MegaWatt Turbine - a giga-watt turbine - hard to swallow that one, power for a fair sized city!!!
If one is to believe the hoopla and the thing actually works it would mark a big advance in turbine design. The publicity claims that the turbine's operational costs are 50% less than other large-scale wind turbines, and that they can generate 20% more power.
I hope this is not another Steorn, Airoption CoreTech, moving statue phenomena.
In China construction has begun on the world's largest production base for magnetic levitation (maglev) wind power generators. The base will produce a series of maglev wind power generators with capacities ranging from 400watt up to 5Kw (mini-turbines for the back garden sort of thing).
The Chinese maglev generator co-developed by the company and Guangzhou Energy Research Institute under the Chinese Academy of Sciences is expected to create new opportunities for harnessing wind power in low-wind-speed areas, as it can utilize winds with starting speeds as low as 1.5 meters per second.
The blurb says that the frictionless maglev generator would cut the operational expenses of wind farms by up to half, keeping the overall cost of wind power under 3.7 Euro cent per kilowatt-hour.
Hope these ideas are for real.