Monday, September 20, 2004

Dramatic Improvements in the Efficiency of Wind Turbines

The Alternative Energy Blog has this interesting post on the application of some ground-breaking technology in the wind energy field. According to the EETimes, researchers in Norway have used a gearless synchronous generator to achieve a 98 percent efficiency rating on wind turbines - a marked improvement over the current standard of 50-60 percent. The new technology relies on permanent magnets to convert energy generated by the turbine rotor into electricity, avoiding the substantial energy loss associated with the heat and friction produced by the standard gearbox used in most commerically available turbines. As the EETimes article points out, the improvement also allows the turbine to produce electricity at much lower wind speeds.

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