A 50 kW prototype hydraulic wind turbine -- which will hydraulically convey power to a generator at ground level -- will be tested in Finland this autumn by the huge state owned utility, IVO. The machine will be mounted on the tower long occupied by a Danish DWT wind turbine from 1986 at Kopparnäs. The DWT machine -- infamous for its poor performance which gave wind energy a bad name in Finland for years -- was dismantled last month. The power from the prototype will be transmitted via a hydraulic motor and a pump (with oil as the medium) in the nacelle to a generator at the bottom of the tower. The system had the advantage of reducing nacelle weight dramatically because there is no need for a gearbox and the generator is at ground level. Several wind turbines would be connected to the same generator. The system is well suited to variable speed operation and energy could easily be stored in pressure tank.
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Senior Renewable Energy Analyst (WindGEMINI Product Lead) DNV GL Bristol (City Centre), City of Bristol