As tall as the Eiffel Tower with 126 blades, a new wind turbine system is about to revolutionize the renewable energy industry

With the ability to produce electricity 5 times higher than conventional wind turbines, as well as easier to maintain and recycle, the new wind power system promises to make a new revolution in this field.

As tall as the Eiffel Tower with 126 blades
As tall as the Eiffel Tower with 126 blades

Renewable energy could power the world for the next 30 years, and wind power is one of the cheapest, most efficient solutions to that goal. Except for 80% of the wind blowing in the deep waters off the coast, it is very difficult to build wind farms. But a new design could completely change the current wind power industry.

A Norwegian company called Wind Catching Systems is developing a new wind power technology using multiple blades that can generate five times more electricity annually than today's largest single wind turbines. This innovative design not only increases the efficiency of electricity production, but also changes the way wind farms work.

New wind power system with many blades and turbines, instead of just one turbine like today
New wind power system with many blades and turbines, instead of just one turbine like today

Unlike traditional wind turbines, which have only one shaft and three giant blades, Wind Catcher's wind power design is a square grid of more than 100 small blades. At a height of 1,000 feet (about 300m) - about the same as the Eiffel Tower - the system is nearly three times taller than a conventional wind turbine. Furthermore, it will be placed on a floating pier anchored under the ocean floor. Cong said they are planning to build a prototype next year. If successful, Wind Catcher could revolutionize the wind power industry.

But why is the Wind Catcher placed on a floating pole and not fixed to the sea. The problem with wind turbines fixed to the seabed is that they cannot be installed in waters deeper than 60m – so they can only be built in coastal areas about 33km from shore. This limitation reduces its operational efficiency because the wind at sea is much stronger than the wind near the shore.

That's when floating wind farms are needed. The world's first floating wind farm, Hywind, opened in 2017 with six turbines located 40km off the Scottish coast of Aberdeen. Currently, Hywind holds the UK record for supplying electricity to about 36,000 households.

But according to a statement from Wind Catching Systems, one of their turbines could power between 80,000 and 100,000 homes in Europe. Under ideal conditions, where the winds are strongest, Wind Catching can generate up to 400 Gigawatts of power per hour. Currently, the world's most powerful wind turbine only generates 80 gigawatts per hour.

Compared with conventional turbines, the design of Wind Catching has more advantages that bring about this difference. First Wind Catcher is higher. With the same height as the Eiffel Tower, its propellers can catch wind at higher speeds.

Second, the propeller of the Wind Catcher is also smaller, which helps in better performance. While traditional propellers are up to 120 feet (about 36.5m) in length, Wind Catcher's propellers are only 50 feet long. Smaller propellers result in higher revolutions per minute, generating more power.

Together with the smaller propeller design, the whole system will be easier to manufacture and maintain. The system has a lifespan of up to 50 years, twice as long as a conventional turbine. Even if one of the system's 126 blades fails, you don't need to stop the whole system to replace it.

Besides, these propellers are also easier to recycle than traditional propellers at the end of their life. Traditional propellers are made of fiberglass, so when it expires, people just have to bury it in the ground and can't be reused. Meanwhile, due to its smaller size, the blades of Wind Catcher are made of aluminum and so, it only needs to be melted to fully reuse it.

Traditional wind turbines when they expire will be buried in this huge land
Traditional wind turbines when they expire will be buried in this huge land

A prototype of the Wind Catcher will be built in the North Sea (Norway or UK) and then the company wants to build it in Japan and California where there are good sources of wind. Besides technical factors, another detail that is also of interest is the possibility of collision with birds.

Wind Catcher said that this system will be equipped with special radars, which emit short-wave pulses to prevent collisions with migratory birds. Moreover, the construction of these wind power systems far offshore will not endanger the flocks of birds flying along the coast.

Google Tech News

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