Back in 2010, we reported that British company Wind Power Limited was set to unveil a whole new type of wind turbine called The Aerogenerator. Now the company has released the next-generation version of the turbine which has twice the power and half the weight of Wind Power’s original Aerogenerator – The Aerogenerator X.
Wind Power Ltd describes the Aerogenerator X as “the only real alternative solutions available to help deliver the UK’s offshore wind strategy in a reliable and cost effective manner”. The original model had a massive span of 275 meters and could produce ten megawatts of electricity. However this new design is half the height of an equivalent horizontal‐axis turbine and its weight is concentrated at the base of the structure.
The Aerogenerator X was the result of an of an 18‐month feasibility study by Cranfield University, QinetiQ, Strathclyde University, Sheffield University and Wind Power Limited and is set to enter a Memorandum of Understanding with Arup to help successfully continue project development.
In a statement, John Roberts, Head of Energy at Arup, said: ‘Despite the installation of a number of large wind turbines offshore, the problems of increasing capital cost for deeper water remains unsolved as does the issue of safe operability in the marine environment. There is a tremendous opportunity for new ideas to make a difference to the commercial viability and operability of offshore wind power. More cost‐effective solutions will be essential if offshore wind power is to make the ‘hoped for’ contribution to the UK’s GHG emission reduction targets.’
Theo Bird of Wind Power Limited said: ‘Offshore is the ideal place for wind power but is also an extremely tough environment. The US wind researchers who worked on vertical axis projects have always regarded the technology as great to work with at sea because it can be big, tough and easily managed. We are extremely grateful to the ETI who had the vision to help us pick up from where the US left off. By facilitating projects like ours they continue the heritage of great engineering in Britain.’