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Directory:MagLev Wind Power Generator
- NOTE: This technology is a non-credited spin-off of Directory:Enviro_Energies, Mag-Wind technology, who filed for a patent in China, only to have the patent not awarded, following the by Chinese government making this technology announcement.
The "MagLev generator" is said to be the
world’s first (Ref) permanent magnetic levitation wind power generator. Magnetic levitation is an important new development to reduce stress from the mechanical load on the wind turbine.
It is being regarded as a key breakthrough in the evolution of global wind power technology, boosting generation capacity by as much as 20% over traditional wind turbines, and dropping operational costs by as much as 50%.
The information on this page came primarily from an article by Zijun Li at http://www.worldwatch.org/node/4217
How it Works
On July 23, 2006, the following by Jeremy Faludi was published in WorldChanging:
- "The magnetic levitation that they use is between the rotating shaft and the fixed base of the machine, basically taking the place of ball bearings. Such magnetic bearings have been used for decades in smaller turbines and pumps by Ebara, Leybold, Seiko-Seiki, and others. However, they generally can't handle being bumped around much (the magnetic force isn't that strong), and they generally require actively controlled electromagnets (to keep the levitating magnets from crashing--play with some magnets for a minute or two and you'll see why). Making magnetic bearings beefy enough to handle the loads a wind turbine would put on them is hard, and would use prohibitive amounts of power just keeping the electromagnets running strongly enough. However, the Worldwatch article says the new Chinese device uses "full-permanent" magnets, meaning there are no electromagnets, only cleverly placed permanent ones, so it should use no power.
- "Unfortunately there's not a shred of additional technical information in the article, nor is there any to be found elsewhere online (if you have any, please leave a comment!), so we can only speculate what their solution was. A little research made me conclude (and this is also suggested by a couple highly knowledgeable Treehugger readers who left comments) that they're probably using Halbach arrays in a system like the Inductrack invented at Lawrence Livermore Labs several years ago. Any permanent magnet system would doubtless need lots of Neodymium ("rare earth") magnets, which may have questionable sustainability when mined in large amounts, but as it happens China is rich in that element--in fact, energy.buzz points out that China owns 90% of the world's market of rare earth magnets."
The new wind power technology was the result of collaboration between Guangzhou Energy Research Institute, under China’s Academy of Sciences, and Guangzhou Zhongke Hengyuan Energy Science & Technology Co., Ltd.
Guokun Li is chief of Zhongke Energy and lead developer on the project.
Stage of Development
The Maglev generator was unveiled at the Wind Power Asia Exhibition, June 28, 2006 in Beijing.
The MagLev generator is expected to boost wind energy generating capacity by as much as 20% over traditional wind turbines. According to the technology's chief scientist, the generator can dramatically lower operational expenses of wind farms -- by as much as 50%.
Guokun Li anticipated the overall cost will be under 0.4 yuan ($US 5 cents) per killowatt.
The low wind speed capability is estimated to add an additional 1,000 hours of operation annually to wind power plants in areas with an average wind speed of 3 m/s.
- The technology is expected to create new opportunities in low-wind-speed areas, with starting speeds as low as 1.5 meters per second (m/s), and cut-in speeds of 3 m/s.
- Uses more wind energy
- Cost 50-75% less to build
- Requires less time to build
- Standardized engineering to ease construction and duplication
- Generate more electricity for less
- Rated at 1gW per unit*
- Require less maintenance
- Major components at ground level
- Permanent crane
- Helicopter pad
- Longer life span (500 years structure, 100 years LSM/LSG, 50 ears turbine blades
- No decommissioning
- Operates in low and high speed wind
- operates in wind speeds exceeding 40m/sec. (80mph)
- One year (ROI)
- Greater profit potential
- Require considerably less land
- Will not harm animal life
In the News
- THE MAGLEV: The Super-powered Magnetic Wind Turbine - The MagLev wind turbine, which was first unveiled at the Wind Power Asia exhibition in Beijing, is expected take wind power technology to the next level with magnetic levitation. (Inhabitat; November 26, 2007)
- Slashdot discussion (Nov. 27)
- China to mass produce maglev wind power generators - A Chinese company has invested 400 million yuan in building the world's largest production base for magnetic levitation (maglev) wind power generators capable of harnessing low wind speed. The base will produce a series of maglev wind power generators with capacities ranging from 400 to 5,000 watts in the first half of 2008. (Xinhua, China; Nov 5, 2007)
- Colossal Magnetic Levitation Wind Turbine Proposed - MagLev Wind Turbine Technologies claims that it can deliver clean power for less than one cent per kilowatt hour using a magnetically levitated wind turbine that can generate one gigawatt of power, by reducing frictional losses. A single huge turbine would require only a fraction of the land space of conventional turbines. (TreeHugger; Jul. 27, 2007)
- Maglev Wind Turbine Technologies to Start Operations - (company press release; June 15, 2007)
- Frictionless Windmill from China - Here's the scoop, with some technical introduction and details you won't find in the articles others have written about it. (WorldChanging; July 23, 2006)
- Maglev Wind Power Generator - (jcwinnie.biz)
- Levitation Is Possible - (GNN.tv; July 5, 2006)
- China Makes Huge Breakthrough in Wind Power Technology - (Worldwatch Institute; July 4, 2006)
- Also published by Renewable Energy Access
- China Makes Huge Breakthrough in Wind Power Technology (Welch Energy Research Center; July 4, 2006)
- 世界首忰全永磿悬浮风力忑电机组亮相亚洲风电展 (in Chinese) - Chinese developers unveiled the world’s first full-permanent magnetic levitation (Maglev) wind power generator at the Wind Power Asia Exhibition 2006 held June 28 in Beijing. (Xinhua News; June 28, 2006)
The concept is sound, but not new. See http://www.mag-wind.com/ (we are one of their 5 worldwide distributors, 1st installation went in last month in Toronto, 2nd one going up this week in Dallas).
- Magnetic levitation - entry at Wikipedia
- Mag-Wind Pyramidal Power- What happened?
Maglev Wind Turbine Technologies, Inc.
2160 E. Fry Blvd., Suite 283
Sierra Vista, AZ 85635
Phone : 1-866-546-0655
See Discussion page
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- PowerPedia:Wind power | PowerPedia:Wind Turbine
- Directory:Wind:Past Developments
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- Directory:High-Efficiency Horizontal Axis Wind Turbines
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- Directory:High Altitude Wind Power
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- Directory:Humdinger Windbelt
- Directory:Wind Power in the United Kingdom