New ‘Smart’ Wind Turbines for Low Wind Areas

GE has designed a massive but brilliantly efficient new wind turbine that can be marketed to areas that aren’t terribly breezy.  The 2.5-megawatt turbine has a 120-meter rotor that is the size of the London Eye, and will increase efficiency by 25 percent and increase power output by 15 percent.

ge-brilliant-wind-turbine-press-photo

Despite its size, GE reports that it will not be a disturbance to those in the vicinity.  “The 2.5-120 also minimizes sound emissions to meet the strictest noise requirements through advanced controls technology,” states GE.  Its high output level will allow it to be functional in places where wind is typically low, such as forested areas in Canada and Europe.

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How does it work?  “Our 2.5-120 is the first wind turbine that utilizes the Industrial Internet to help manage the intermittency of wind, providing smooth, predictable power to the world regardless of what Mother Nature throws its way,” said Vic Abate, vice president of GE’s renewable energy business. ”Analyzing tens of thousands of data points every second, the 2.5-120 integrates energy storage and advanced forecasting algorithms while communicating seamlessly with neighboring turbines, service technicians and customers.”

This Industrial Internet can certainly make one nervous; our unyielding faith in science and technocratic solutions to social and environmental problems has been roundly critiqued.  The first prototype will be installed in the Netherlands next month, however, so we really have yet to see what GE’s breakthrough could mean for improving wind technology –a necessary part of a renewable energy future.  If successful, it will make less and less economic sense (nevermind environmental, social, or just simple common sense) to continue developing the dirty tar sands, fracking, or other fossil fuel extraction.  This could be a very important and very exciting step in the right direction.

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2 Comments on “New ‘Smart’ Wind Turbines for Low Wind Areas”

  1. mmaloney2012 February 13, 2013 at 7:17 pm #

    Reblogged this on Picktricity.

  2. jpgreenword February 20, 2013 at 8:15 am #

    This sounds like the beginnings of the “smart grid”.

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