July 27, 2007

1 gigawatt wind turbine

Treehugger shows a 1 gigawatt magnetically levitated wind power generating turbine

Maglev Wind Turbine Technologies proposes this technology

It looks like it is 200 meters tall and 100 meters in diameter, based on the car and streetlights in the foreground

A regular 5 megawatt wind turbine has about 120 meter tall tower and a 126 meter diameter blades They supply around 13 million kilowatt hours per year each. A 200 times larger wind rotor would then proportionally have 2.6 billion kwh.
The chinese claimed that the magnetically levitated wind turbines could be 20% more efficient. This would increase the energy generated to 3.12 billion kwh.

The average US home uses about 10000 wkh per year

Maglev Wind Turbine Technologies is claiming 8.75 Twh would be generated. This is operating efficiency equal to a nuclear power plant. Even if they are 50% more efficient than a regular wind turbine (because of more consistent wind at higher altitude and 20% superconducting efficiency) I do not see them doing better than about 5 billion Twh maximum. This would be about 500,000 homes. They could do better but they would need a bigger turbine with a higher maximum power rating.

A wind turbines operating load factor is less because of the inconsistency with which winds blow. although a very tall wind turbine
The benefits of magnetic levitation for wind turbines is discussed

Wind is more consistent at 270 meters (1000 feet) A large wind turbine that could take advantage of that could achieve operating efficiency of 40-50%.

Offshore wind farm

A nuclear power plant with a 1 Gigawatt rating would produce 8 to 9 billion kwh per year.

The tallest buildings and structures in the world from wikipedia

There are only about 20-30 man-made structures that are taller than 300 meters.

Tall building profiles

New building materials could allow the giant wind turbine to be made taller and lighter. New materials such as carbon nanotube reinforced polymers or nanograin metals.

My other articles related to wind energy and comparisons to other energy sources

A chinese firm ordered superconducting wire from American Semiconductor (not for maglev but for overall engine efficiency)

Shares of American Superconductor Corp. (Nasdaq: AMSC) got a jolt in pre-market trading this morning after the energy technologies company, announced that it received a follow-on $70 million order for wind turbine electrical systems from Beijing-based Sinovel Wind Corp. Ltd.

American Superconductor’s subsidiary, AMSC Windtec, will ship the customized electrical systems to Sinovel in 2008 for use in Sinovel's 1.5 megawatt wind energy systems.

AMSC Windtec turbine electrical systems provide wind turbine operation by controlling power flows, regulating voltage and controlling the pitch of wind turbine blades to maximize efficiency.


Snake Oil Baron said...

If birds can't see that they should not be in the air in the first place.

al fin said...

A vertical turbine picks up wind from all directions. Magnetic suspension minimises frictional drag. Large mass maximises the flywheel effect.

How much of the power generated is required to suspend the giant turbine? Startup must require an incredibly large current. It has to come from the grid.

I would like to see the gearbox for the starter motor.

Like a nuclear plant, you would not want to have to shut it down and start it back up frequently.

Cyril R. said...

What bothers me is that $53 million price tag. Way too low for this capacity. Had they said $530 million, now that would have been somewhat plausible. But 53M just doesn't sound right.

They've either mixed up some figures, or they're just liars.

bw said...

Where did you see the $53 million price tag ? I had not seen that.

I had seen some $70 million for smaller 10MW superconducting turbines.

So far the 1GW turbine is a very thin mostly unfunded paper proposal as far as I can tell.

Cyril R. said...

You can see it here.

Maybe the part about small turbines in the 400 to 5000 Watts range is for real. It says they did get 400 million Yuan.

I hope they're serious, but their figures strongly imply that they aren't.

Thunderfist said...

The Maglev turbine is a scam. It is NOT more efficient. The fact it has magnetic bearings might at best make it a percent or two more efficient, but normal roller bearings are pretty low friction.

Their design is not more efficient. For a good design, without rediculous claims go look a TMA in Wyoming. Now there is a good design.

They have all the earmarks of a scam and snake oil sales.

BattyBenamin said...

@al fin....

"The turbine uses “full-permanent” magnets, not electromagnets — therefore, it does not require electricty to run."

NO start up jolt of grid-fed electricity.

Felix said...

If this machine is 200 meters tall, 100 meters diameter, the total area is a mere 20.000 square meters. A tubine operating at the maximum theoretical efficiency of 59% may extract 300 watts per square meter at SUSTAINED 20 MPH winds.

Total power=6 MW. Not 1 GW.