Monday, November 26, 2007

MagLev Wind Turbines

The concept of the magnetic levitation based wind turbine is a simple one. Vertical vanes rotate in a plane parallel to the ground surface and use electromagnetic repulsion to isolate the vanes from the hub instead of ball bearings, as well as utilizing electromagnetic coupling to generate electricity when the vanes spun by the wind. Benefits include 500 year operational lifespan, reduced surface area requirements, they can make use of much lower *and* much higher average wind speeds for power generation, and significantly reduced maintenance costs and operating overhead.

Of course, I am always skeptical of technologies like this until one is actually constructed. But even if only one or two of the claims of competitive advantage are borne out, this concept could still contribute much to the hunt for worthy renewable energy sources.