"ExRo Technologies, a startup based in Vancouver, BC, has developed a new kind of generator that's well suited to harvesting energy from wind. It could lower the cost of wind turbines while increasing their power output by 50 percent.
The new generator runs efficiently over a wider range of conditions than conventional generators do. ExRo's new design replaces a mechanical transmission with what amounts to an electronic one. That increases the range of wind speeds at which it can operate efficiently and makes it more responsive to sudden gusts and lulls.
ExRo has developed and tested a lab-scale prototype. Its estimates of increased power production come from models that use data from existing wind-turbine sites. By the end of this year or early next year, the company will begin field-testing a small, five-kilowatt wind turbine. Ritchey says that the company won't have firm figures for power production until those tests are complete. The next step will be to install larger, megawatt-scale generators in existing wind turbines."
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