GE, one of the largest producers of wind turbines, has just announced they will be implementing technology derived from their own MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) machines into their next generation of turbines. The new technology, according to GE, will save on the resources required to produce the renewable energy generators, as well as increase performance and overall decrease costs.
The new wind turbine technology
Thanks to a $3 million grant from the Department of Energy, GE is going to be able to build wind turbines using high powered electromagnets in place of traditional gearboxes and generators. The use of magnets in running the wind turbines is expected to significantly reduce maintenance required, as it eliminates the two parts of the turbine which traditionally cause the most problems.
Even greener renewable energy
The new wind turbines will also significantly reduce the environmental footprint required to both manufacture and erect the turbines. The gearboxes used in today’s wind turbines are made from rare earth metals, which some predict could run out in the next year.
Additionally, the new turbine technology is far more lightweight per-megawatt, making the entire energy generating process far more efficient.
What do you think about the new wind turbine technology coming to a wind farm near you? Do high-powered magnets 100 feet in the air give you cause for concern?