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Risk is on the Wind

Periodic commentary about the wind energy industry, focusing on news of interest involving wind turbines, wind farms, wind energy projects as well as associated technology and social/political issues. Brought to you by Valentine, your source for superior insurance for wind turbines and wind farms worldwide.

Obvious in Hindsight

Viktor Lawryniuk - Friday, September 16, 2011

Ever see a new design and wonder why it took so long to imagine it? Airgenesis twin-rotor turbineThat was my reaction when I read the article in Windpower Engineering & Development today about the Airgenesis turbine design. Their design has a nacelle with two equal-sized rotors at each end which they claim will capture wind at greater capacity factors than conventional designs. So far so good, but the really forehead-smacking idea of theirs is their placement of most of the heavy equipment (gearboxes and generators) in the base at ground level for easy maintenance. They also use multiple generators so they can replace one without having to shut down the turbine. Clever!

The twin rotor idea has its charms as well as this power curve chart demonstrates. I particularly like that this was basically a better design concept not some radical new technology (I like those too). It demonstrates how important creativity is in engineering. Congratulations to Airgenesis!

Anonymous commented on 21-May-2012 08:29 AM
A shaft down the tower is not a new idea, nor is a blade at each end of the nacell. Trouble with both those ideas is they come with their own sets of problems (a long, 100 meter shaft is tricky, expensive stuff, and lets not forget there needs to be a
gear box at the top to accommodate that). It should also be pointed out that the power curves of '3 other manufacturers' (I believe they are GE, Vestas, and Siemens) are real world measured data. The power curve for Airgenesis is hypothetical, since at this
point, they have nothing to offer more than computer generated images. In my opinion there is a serious lack of information on their website. I'm very skeptical.

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