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Gone With the Wind, Part 2: Maglev Tech

Tue, 11/27/2007 - 5:44am

Productive Product: What if you could eliminate all of the material friction in a windmill? (And why is this our third consecutive Efficiency Zone lead in question form?) No ball bearing is that good, but you could use maglev technology to just suspend the turbine blades in air. Magnetic levitation is more common for high-speed train research, but it's already being tailored for future windmills in China, as announced at the recent Wind Power Asia conference, according to the Inhabitat bloggers. These turbines can make up to a gigawatt of clean power and start spinning at lower wind speeds than the convential variety. Add the bloggers, "In the US, Arizona-based MagLev Wind Turbine Technologies will be manufacturing these turbines. Headed by long-time renewable energy researcher Ed Mazur, the company claims that it will be able to deliver clean power for less than one cent per kilowatt hour with this new technology. It also points out that building a single giant maglev wind turbine would reduce construction and maintenance costs and require much less land than hundreds of conventional turbines. The estimated cost of building this colossal structure is $53 million." Comment below. (Note: external links open in new windows.)

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