Engineering

New Wind Generator Rotors

This new windmill rotor generator blows all today’s dimensions. 50 MW of power is ten times as much as today’s 5-MW wind turbines in the North Sea. The rotor blades are 200 m long. Forces would be doing so huge that the rotors can place such as palm leaves in the wind. The idea came from the United States.While windmill maker work all over the world to develop generators with a capacity of 10-15 MW largest used currently to 8 MW – plan U.S. researchers is a quantum leap. At the Sandia National Laboratories, a research center of defense company Lockheed Martin, wind generator with 50 MW capacity will be developed.

The rotor blades will have a length of 200 m and offer a huge attack surface wind. The generators are to be stationed on the sea. So that they are not destroyed in severe storm, can tilt the rotors like leaves in the wind direction. The Sandia mills are approximately 450 meters be higher than the Empire State Building in New York.

Compressed air back into working rotor position.

Rotor blades can fold, joints should be installed close to the hub. With the help of compressed air they could be returned later to normal position, so they can turn back and drive the generator.

Because 200 m long rotor blades can be transported with airships they should not be produced in conventional way as one piece, but chunks. Only on the site they are added together. Nevertheless they should be so inexpensive to produce, especially that they produce electricity cheaper than today’s wind turbines.

Siemens belongs to the consultants and developers.

“The United States have a high potential for offshore wind energy” says Sandia aviation engineer Todd Griffith. Development of the rotor blades is essential. However offshore installations are extremely expensive. “Therefore we need larger turbines at low cost in order to use this energy” said Griffith.

New Wind Generator Rotor
If the wind is too strong, the rotors in the wind direction to can fold up. Photo: TrevorJohnston.com

Segmented ultralight morphing rotor (SUMR) call the U.S. researchers development thus segmented ultralight convertible rotor. Six US Universities support the Sandia project. Experts of the wind power plant manufacturer Siemens, General Electric and Vestas act as consultants.

There are many risks for large systems

The leaves eventually will look like is still open – or a well guarded secret. Only so much reveals Griffith: you should be much easier than conventional blades. Thereby, they need extra mass in the form of a huge joint, which allows the valves in a storm.

It must be also designed compressed air can bring back the giant blades in the working position. Also self-fixing systems are necessary. All segments are linked. Special generators that turn very slowly or huge gears that adjust the low rotation speed at the pace that ordinary generators use as necessary.

The rotor is not rotating because otherwise the wing tips exceed the speed of sound. The mill could be destroyed by the resulting shock waves, vibrations or stressed internally counterforce.