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GE engineers are working on typhoon-resistant wind turbine systems


While the Atlantic Ocean tangles with hurricanes, typhoons are the scourge of the Pacific Ocean, particularly in countries like Japan, the Philippines, and China. Strong winds from typhoons can cause incredible damage, and were also thought to prohibit the construction of wind turbines—until now.

GE engineers are working hard on  typhoon-resistant wind turbine systems that can withstand the high wind gusts, but it’s not an easy task. A team in Barcelona is working on a special class of turbine called the 4.2-117, which is being built to survive wind speeds of up to 128 mph (57 m/s).

How does  the typhoon-proof wind turbine work? First, the turbine blades have been shortened, making them more robust and helping them stand up to higher wind speeds. Additionally, the tower has been constructed of thicker steel, reinforcing the turbine against the stronger winds. One thing that hasn’t changed? The relative power rating of the 4.2-117—at 4.2 MW, it can compete with any in its class.

One more advantage of the smaller blades: it helps to make the typhoon-resistant wind turbine system more transportable—a bonus in a country like Japan with plenty of bridges and winding roads.

The 4.2-117 prototype will be assembled at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and will be tested for six months.

These turbines are not a normal class of turbine,” says Ismael Hidalgo, an onshore engineering manager at ‎GE Renewable Energy in Barcelona, who is leading the team designing these machines. “We’re building a turbine to withstand an exceptional event.”

Learn more about the future of GE’s typhoon proof wind turbines by contacting us today.

Read the full story on GE Reports.