Maglev Wind Generator

The Maglev wind generator (Maglev is short for magnetic levitation) has been jointly developed and produced by the Guangzhou Institute of Energy Conversion under the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Guangzhou Zhongke Hengyuan energy Technology Co Ltd. The institute is the only research institution in the areas of comprehensive research and development of new and renewable energy resources in China.


Maglev wind generator

GuangZhou ZhongKe HengYuan Energy Technology company is a high-tech industrialisation enterprise focussed on the research, development, manufacture and Marketing of a “Full Permanent Magnet Suspension Wind Power Generator Set and Wind-solar Power Mutual Supplementary Generator System”.

The rather long description above doesn’t make up for the little technical information available on the device.

Maglev - magnetic levitation wind generator

SKF Magnetic bearingsMagnetic Bearings

Magnetic bearings have been around for a while, and SKF bearings use a non-contact technology, which means negligible friction loss, little wear, and higher reliability. This type of bearing also enables previously unachievable surface speeds to be attained, and lubrication is eliminated. However, these Magnetic bearings are electromagnetic suspension and a control system is needed to regulate the current and provide stability of the forces, position of the rotor.

The new Chinese vertical axis wind turbine (VAWT) apparently uses “full-permanent” magnets, which means there are no electromagnets, only permanent ones, so it should use no power.

Maglev Wind Generator Characteristics

The claims below are direct from the GuangZhou ZhongKe HengYuan Energy Technology web site, and don’t appear to be independently verified (as yet).

• Micro-friction full permanent suspension bearings not only balance the horizontal wind pressure & vertical main load, but also have perfect stabilizing effect on axial direction of rotor system.

• Small start-Rotating torque: The start- Rotating torque is 28% of that of the preview same size unit.

• High rotating speed: the rotating speed is increased 10% under the same wind speed.

• High power output: the power output actual is raised evenly 20% under the same wind speed.

• High power output: the power output actual is raised evenly 20% under the same wind speed.


Maglev Wind Generator Production

Li Guokun, chief scientific developer of the new technology said, “The problem of the traditional wind turbines is that they require high wind speeds to start, because of the friction caused by their bearings.” The device is expected to create new opportunities for harnessing wind power in low-wind-speed areas, as it can utilize winds with starting speeds as low as 1.5 meters per second. The vanes on the Maglev VAWT are designed by a famous Chinese Aero-dynamics scientist, professor Zhang Weiming.

The Guangzhou-based Zhongke Hengyuan Energy Technology Co. Ltd. Has invested 400 million yuan in building the base for the generators, from which it expects yearly revenue of 1.6 billion yuan. 

Maglev wind generator

Although the images on this page show huge wind multi-megawatt generators, the production plan for 2008 is for a series of Maglev wind power generators with capacities ranging from 400 to 5,000 watts. Small units such as this have traditionally been in the domestic domain running a few light bulbs, and scaling up to 1GW (enough to power 750,000 homes) will undoubtedly present serious challenges.