A new concept study for wind turbines has been presented by the Lübeck company Dewind AG. The impeller Windenergy Converter (IWEC) consists of three rotor blades, which are combined in a ring and can be aligned via a rotary bearing after the wind. Electrical power is generated unlike conventional wind turbines not by a generator in the nacelle on the top of the tower, but via an annular generator which is arranged around the blade tips of the rotor.

A tripod support is to ensure the stability of the rotor. According to its design engineers, IWEC, with a rotor diameter of 120 meters, will in future once achieve an output of around six megawatts. Compared to conventional wind turbines of the same size, the concept has a 30 to 40 percent mass saving, which significantly increases energy efficiency.

Currently used wind turbines generate a maximum of 2.5 megawatts, their rotors have a maximum diameter of 80 meters. It is estimated that about five to ten years will pass before all the technical details have been clarified and the IWEC can be used in practice, according to the Lübeck-based engineers. Approximately 8, 000 wind power plants currently generate about 6, 000 megawatts of energy in Germany, which corresponds to the output of around four nuclear power plants.

Almut Bruschke-Reimer

© science.de

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