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I am not an expert, but I followed some courses on wind energy, and I guess I know some people who are experts. Accidentally, I almost did an internship at a Chinese wind turbine manuacturer. This was their largest company, making normal turbines, and they only had a small share of even the Chinese market.

They were expanding very fast, with clearly a lot of govenment money behind them. However, their main goal was to get closer to the level of western manufacturers, not making new concepts (how hiring unexperienced western students was going to help that goal, I do not know, but I suspect they just wanted name recognition in western academia).

From this I deduce that even the Chinese are not thinking their maglev turbines will be succesful in the short term, or they would put their money elsewhere.

By the way I found the site of the company developing the maglev turbine:

http://www.zkenergy.com/en/gsjj.asp

At the moment they are making small (300kW) horizontal (regular) turbines using magnetic bearings that would be especially good for low-wind conditions. Apparently they are used to power street lights.

Their R&D plans include a 200kW and later 2000kW vertical turbine, using maglev, but currently they only have a 20kW turbine. If they can build the 2000kW, and the technology is sound, they could become serious players.

by GreatZamfir on Wed Nov 28th, 2007 at 09:38:20 AM EST
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