The demand for eco-friendly wind power has increased drastically in recent years, with countries around the world looking for new ways of improving this technology while also reducing costs. At present, transporting wind turbines is quite an expensive affair, which eventually adds to the costs of wind energy. In an attempt to lower such expenses, Denmark-based company Vestas has created an innovative wind turbine, boasting a multi-rotor design.
Most wind turbines, currently operational, feature a total of three rotor blades. The one designed by Vestas, however, is equipped with 4 rotors and 12 blades. According to the developers, the technology is presently being tested at the Technical University of Denmark, where it has already successfully produced its first kilowatt hour (or kWh) of power. The prototype has a “tip height” of around 74 meters (approx. 242 feet), due to restrictions at the testing site.
To enhance sustainability, the team at Vestas is working with 1990s recycled nacelles (basically, the casing that envelopes the major working components of a wind turbine). As the designers point out, one of the main drawbacks of this multi-rotor design is that, in case any one component malfunctions, certain crucial adjustments will have to be made as swiftly as possible to prevent the entire system from breaking down.
For such a system to work without a hitch, real-time monitoring will be necessary. The team is currently testing the contraption’s various components, including its software. Speaking about the new technology, Erik Carl Lehnskov Miranda of Vestas said:
…by 2020 as much as 10 percent of the world’s electricity consumption will be satisfied by energy from the wind… [and] we have the confidence to say that wind power is an industry on par with coal and gas.