Maglev Wind Turbine - A New Way For Harnessing Wind Energy
written by: Raunekk•edited by: Lamar Stonecypher•updated: 5/25/2009
Magnetic Levitation or Maglev, has been used successfully in trains & toys till today, but it will now be used in tapping renewable energy from wind. Read how Maglev technology is being used in constructing a larger than life wind turbine that will surpass all the conventional forms of wind turbines
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As the need for renewable energy sources increases, new ways for tapping such energy are continuously in the making. Wind is one such source of energy that is being exploited in a number of ways to procure the maximum output. Thought the recent awareness of the world towards "green energy sources" has again brought the wind into the limelight for being a prominent source of renewable energy, it has equally been criticized for its unreliability and low output.
But a new way of harnessing wind energy will shun all the criticism away for it would not only be extremely reliable but would also provide power way beyond a conventional source of renewable energy is expected to. A larger than life sized wind turbine will use magnetic levitation technology to create a system that will help the renewable energy industry to get rid of all the drawbacks that it presently has.
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Construction & Working
The Maglev wind turbine will not only take the power generation to the next level but will also provide a longlasting means of generating renewable energy. The blades of the turbine will be suspended in the air just above the base of the machine. The blades would be suspended is such a way that there wouldn't be any need for ball bearings or any such mechanism. Pseudo Levitation method will be used in order to provide stability to the blades.
In order to create a strong magnetic levitation condition, rare earth magnet (neodymium) will be used instead of electromagnets. Neodymium are permanent magnets that oppose the magnetic field of another magnet. As there will be no mechanical contact or connection, the system will be free from any energy loss due to friction. This will preserve any kind of maintenance cost and will also increase the lifespan of the system.
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Maglev Wind Turbine Vs Standard Wind Mill
There are several advantages of Maglev wind turbine over conventional wind mills. The largest conventional wind mill in the world produces around 5 megawatt of power, while a single maglev turbine will make 1 gigawatt of power. A standard comparison says that one maglev turbine is equal to 1000 conventional turbines in terms of power output. This means that a single maglev turbine can power 750 thousand homes while a field of 1000 standard turbines can power only 500 thousand homes.
Also, the area occupied by 1 maglev wind turbine would be less than 500 acres of land, while a conventional field of 1000 wind mills require more than 64,000 acres of land. Moreover, a magnev wind turbine will reduce the operational costs by more than 50% of those levied by a conventional windmill farm.
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The First Plant
The first plant of such type is being put up in Central China with an investment of 53 million yaun. The turbines to be installed will be manufactured by U.S based Maglev Wind Turbine Manufacturing Company. As the concept seems to be a promising one and already 400 yaun are invented in the project,more of such turbines will be installed and seen working in the coming years.