Aiming to generate up to 10MW of electricity, the all-new Aerogenerator X wind turbine, measuring around 900 feet, is categorically different from other vertical axis turbines you have seen thus far. The innovative turbine features 275-meters wings – just right for offshore applications. The design syndicate, who plan to get a working model up and running by the end of 2013, includes Wind Power, architects Grimshaw, academics at Cranfield University and some powerhouses like Rolls Royce, Arup, BP and Shell.
Feargal Brennan, head of offshore engineering at Cranfield University, says…
Upsizing conventional onshore wind turbine technology to overcome cost barriers has significant challenges, not least the weight of the blades, which experience a fully reversed fatigue cycle on each rotation… As the blades turn, their weight always pulls downwards, putting a changing stress on the structure, in a cycle that repeats with every rotation – up to 20 times a minute… In order to reduce the fatigue stress, the blade sections and thicknesses are increased which further increases the blade self-weight. These issues continue throughout the device.
The V-shaped Aerogenerator touts rigid ‘sails’ mounted along its two arms. Acting like huge aerofoils, the sails generate lift that turns the entire structure at three revolutions per minute. The makers believe that it is perfectly possible to produce turbines that could generate 20MW or more of power, if they work on the same design. They need to scale up the diameter of the turbine with little increase in overall weight.