Normally wind turbines harvest the power of the wind at the hub making use of gear boxes to enhance the output. However, the maximum amount of wind is captured not at the hub but at the edge of the blades of the turbine. To make wind energy generation affordable and efficient at the same time, Keuka Energy has come up with the Keuka Rim Drive Turbine that looks similar to a pinwheel.
Instead of harvesting energy at the hub of the turbine, this machine harvests power at the blades with its unique design. The company has recently completed and launched a 100KW prototype, with a 12.5MW model under development and slated to be completed by January 2013. Conventionally wind turbines are too small and too expensive to make a real difference to solve the issues Keuka aims to build wind turbines of capacities well in excess of 100MW to completely eliminate the need for a coal-fired power plant.
The company also states that apart from being 30 percent cheaper in the long run, the turbines are less noisy and more dependable, considering the fact that they don’t use a gear box. The blades are made using lightweight fiberglass blades to ease transportation. Moreover, it takes less than a week to set up the turbine after which it can easily generate a large amount of energy at very affordable prices.