A rotating ring containing many generators rather than a traditional axis and single generator plus gear box. Turbine can be constructed with low weight carbon fiber, low maintenance and long life span.
A company in Winschoten, the Netherlands, patented a new wind turbine design, with which it claims it can generate the same amount of electricity with lighter wind turbines with a rotating ring rather than an axis, causing enormous wind forces to be absorbed by a larger surface, enabling lighter design. Under offshore conditions a Megawindforce turbine of 135 m tip height would generate the same power as a conventional 200 m turbine. Additionally the new turbine design is supposed to begin to generate energy at lower wind speeds by gradually switching on ever more generators inside the ring with increasing wind speed. Because of this variable load principle the turbine can operate at lower rotational speeds which lowers the forces, enabling a staggering 80% reduction of the overall weight and proportional lower cost.
Cost claim: 3 cent per kWh.
A prototype is being built in the Groningen province this year, financially supported by Groningen authorities.