Company Designs Frictionless Wind Generator

A company in the United States says it has designed a generator that operates without friction to generate electricity from the wind.

RICHLAND, Washington, US, 2001-06-08 [SolarAccess.com] A company in the United States says it has designed a generator that operates without friction to generate electricity from the wind. The design by Composite Power Corporation is covered in a patent application and details are unavailable, but officials say a major utility has reviewed the concept and is considering funding a grid scale demonstration. “This work has been ongoing for some time and now appears close to bearing fruit,” explains president Roger McCombs. “This development comes at an ideal time because many states are focusing on wind generation technologies. We believe ours may represent a significant increase in efficiency, combined with a power storage component that may be exactly what the market needs.” The generator would be 300 feet in diameter and 60 feet tall. The frictionless motion of the turbines means there will be no wearing parts and the composite materials make it resistant to harsh outdoor environments. It has the potential to start up with low wind speeds and run throughout a wide range of high wind conditions. The production model will have an ability to store one third of its capacity that can be delivered during peak demand. Officials add that the design is aesthetically and environmentally acceptable, and will reduce the maintenance costs. Talks are underway with prospective partners to obtain funding, and the company expects to produce the components at its plant in Washington state. CPC was established in Nevada in 1990 to research composite materials and to develop and manufacture poles for the electricity industry out of composite materials. Every year, 3,000 utilities in the U.S. spend $4 billion on wooden poles which are treated with carcinogenic chemicals. In 1995, 132 million wooden poles were in service in the United States, of which 25 million needed reinforcing or replacing at a cost of $23 billion.
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