Revolutionary Design & Concept
Protecting the environment and preserving the future of the planet are the two greatest challenges we collectively face today. Renewable energy is universally recognised as the path that needs to be taken on the route to global environmental recovery. The continued depletion and projected rise in the cost of fossil fuels with the ever increasing concerns over carbon emissions impact on the environment has fuelled the requirement for wind turbines to ease the rising problems, but just how effective are the current crop of wind turbines?
It is globally acknowledged that the current wind turbine technology is not reliable. Also the environmental impact, both visually and in resources consumed in manufacture, transportation and construction is not adequate.
At LGT, we have been developing an entirely new concept of wind turbine since 2006. We examined each and every aspect of wind turbine design including the construction, materials used, reliability issues, environmental impact, logistics and planning problems, operational parameters, the energy output and even carbon footprint created by a commercial turbine. It very quickly became obvious that only way forward was to invent an all new wind turbine technology that would be cheaper, smaller, quieter and with better reliability and maintenance costs yet could produce more energy in less space. Simple to say but not so easy to do but ultimately that is exactly what we have achieved.
No other wind turbine anywhere presents such a complete and non compromised solution. We have designed every component to maximise efficiency and with the sole purpose of working in a wind turbine. This is not just a new rotor or transmission design that is put together with a third party device, this is a machine designed by some of the worlds leading senior design engineers to be the most efficient and reliable wind turbine system.
Energy production per acre is greatly increased whilst the cost of purchase, construction, logistics, planning and operation is vastly reduced. The new technology and design solutions has enabled LGT to not only vastly reduce the size of the wind turbine we have also managed to move virtually all the workings to the base of the tower at ground level, significantly reducing operational costs and down time.
Maximum extraction of every potential drop of energy from any given wind speed is the holy grail in the world of wind turbines and to understand how to best do this requires an exceptional knowledge of aerodynamics.
The LGT senior design engineers have developed the aerodynamics for World Championship winning Formula One cars through to turbines and fully understand the effects of low & high speed aerodynamic designs, rotor dynamics and wake disruption.
The revolutionary next generation wind turbine utilises highly advanced aerodynamics to effectively suck air through an enclosed rotor design. Extensive use of Computer Fluid Dynamics (CFD) has been used to develop the original concepts before commencing with the wind tunnel development. Initial early tests of the LGT wind turbine has proven exceptionally successful with a 160% improvement in shaft output when compared to a propeller wind turbine. This efficiency is enhanced still further by the unique LGT drive line system and generators which firmly bring wind turbine technology to the next level.
The air wake that leaves the wind turbine rotor is very important for the positioning of the turbines on wind farms or in clusters. A propeller turbine requires a recommended space between each turbine that is equal to 7 times the diameter of the rotor otherwise they lose efficiency. On an 80m diameter propeller wind turbine this gap equates to 560m in any direction between each turbine, though in some situations a gap of 4 times the diameter can be used for those turbines positioned side by side.
The wake generated by a comparative LGT wind turbines is significantly smaller than current turbines and as such they can be placed considerably closer together. This in turn greatly reduces the land required for a wind farm. On average a current 20 turbine wind farm would require ten times more space than an LGT based wind farm to create the same level of energy production. Hard to believe but there is much independent academic research done to support our data.
Successful extraction of the energy harnessed in the wind through the turbine is only one component of an efficient system, how that motion is then converted into electricity is equally as vital and has proved to be the Achilles heel of current wind turbines.
Huge rotor blades with combined weight of up to 42 tons drive directly to an enormous 32 tons of epicyclical transmission which in turn drives an equally large generator and all at a height of up to 110 meters above the ground. The rotational inertia can generate excessive vibration and cause the transmission to fail.
LGT has designed a unique and ingenious infinitely variable drive control system that radically transforms the transmission and generators efficiency and costs. The LGT system, which is located at ground level, provides large gains in reliability and a significant reduction in costs.
Electrical Power Generation
The degree of technological improvement made by LGT is illustrated conclusively by the strides made with the generators efficiency. Unlike current systems that use a single large generator that can weighs as much as 38 tons for a 2-3MW rated unit, LGT uses multiple generator arrangement that has the ability to couple individual units into the driveline as and when required.
In light winds the LGT driveline system employs just one generator to reduce drag across the drive line and to maximise energy production. As the wind speed increases each generator is automatically brought on-line through a virtually friction free coupling. This LGT system has many benefits;
Weight – The total weight for a 2-3MW system is less than 3000KG, only a tenth of current systems and this means incredible savings on precious metals such as copper and magnets.
Increased Efficiency – Current turbines cease to increase energy output once they hit their optimum wind speed, usually 35mph. After that they waste energy, every 10mph increase in wind speed offers double the potential wind energy. The LGT system fully exploits this and at 45mph it produces twice the energy than at 35mph.
Operating Costs – Each generator is maintenance free for 5 years and can be serviced or repaired without the need to switch off the turbine. A replacement generator can be fitted in a few hours by trained fitters using a small van deleting the requirement to hire heavy lifting cranes at tens of £000’s a day.
Inverters – The LGT generator system enables the use of a single point inverter for a cluster of wind turbines which improves performance and reduces costs, alternatively each generator can be fitted with its own individual inverter for single turbine applications.
Simple & Clever
The LGT wind turbine excels in its ability to produce very high levels of energy in a far wider spectrum of weather conditions when compared to current wind turbines. Virtually all aspects of the design produce a higher output with lower costs. Some of the design benefits are not immediately obvious yet yield considerable benefits, for example the lower centre of gravity and reduced weight created by positioning 75% of the turbine at ground level has additional advantages.
To equate what difference this makes think of trying to hold a sledge hammer upright with the end of the handle furthest from the steel head on the floor, that would be a current wind turbine. Now find a lighter, smaller hammer and place the steel head on the floor with the handle upright, this represents the LGT turbine. The analogy demonstrates how much additional structural strengthening that the base and tower require on current wind turbines, now imagine how hard this is to construct at sea.
This simple design improvement allows the following benefits;
• Vastly reduced construction and installation costs.
• Dramatic reduction in the use of environmental damaging materials such as concrete by 90%.
• Temporary construction classification reduces planning overheads and delays.
• Reduced operational costs with simple machinery servicing.
The LGT system has been designed to reduce on-going maintenance, servicing requirements and costs by ensuring that the major components are only serviced every five years. The service intervals and the LGT Remote Monitoring System make the turbine ideal for isolated locations. The average servicing costs of a current 2 or 3 MW wind turbine is over £30,000 per year whilst major replacement components such as a transmission, generator or set of rotors can cost approximately £300,000 each plus installation.
• 4 times more efficient than current wind turbines
• Efficiency of turbine allows for smaller & lighter design
• Cheaper to build
• Enclosed design and small rotor blades mean it can operate in a wider range of atmospheric conditions
• LGT wind turbine can be tuned for exceptional wind conditions
• Unique transmission constantly maintains the ultimate gearing for the wind speed
• Multiple next generation generators automatically switch on or off for greater efficiency and reduce driveline drag
• Easier to service as the 75% of the serviceable equipment is at the base of the tower
• The use of costly materials such as copper is vastly reduced
• The visual impact on the environment is significantly reduced with the smaller & lower LGT wind turbines
• Can be used close to towns and housing/industrial estates
• 10x the energy production per acre
• Quieter as the turbine rotors are encapsulated within the cowling and a noise reduction system is incorporated in the design
• 80% reduction in logistics and erection costs over current turbines
• Can be used for hydrogen production locally or to feed into national grid
• Modular system allows wind farm growth as and when needed
• No need to lay miles of cable
• Marketing & Advertising potential
• Very quick to set up
• Mobile or temporary structure
• Provide energy for new housing or business estates