Manufacturers start work on multi-rotor concepts

Topics
No items found.
Richard Heap
May 16, 2016
This content is from our archive. Some formatting or links may be broken.
This content is from our archive. Some formatting or links may be broken.
Manufacturers start work on multi-rotor concepts

Turbines keep getting taller and more powerful. But, by 2025, will they be far wider too?

That is the intriguing prospect that would arise with the advent of multi-rotor turbines — or, in other words, turbines that have more than one set of blades (see below). Manufacturers are looking at ways to generate more energy from their turbines and do not want to rely on making ever-bigger blades. Multi-rotor turbines is one of the concepts they are looking at.

Danish giant Vestas is among those looking at the technology. The firm last month revealed details of a concept project with the Technical University of Denmark, and the result is in the picture above. The research is still in its early stages, with the partners establishing if these strange-looking beasts are viable.

Initially, they have to develop, test and prove that they have the technology needed for multi-rotor turbines, including load and control systems, and then they will need to start looking at whether they can make the machines commercially viable.

That is a lot of work and it is for that reason that we do not expect to see these machines widely used by 2025.

Even DNV GL hedged its bets in its ‘Technology Outlook 2025’report last month when it said multi-rotor concepts “may appear” in the next ten years, and that growth of this technology depends on the mass production of larger numbers of smaller rotors.

However, we are more confident. Ten years is a long time and we expect to see some multi-rotor demonstration schemes working by 2025. We expect this to be accompanied by a lively debate on whether such machines will ever be widely accepted in the market.

But we do still have some reservations about the technology.

The first is that developers and investors want to reduce the risk
of their projects, which includes the types of turbines and other technology they choose. We expect many to have concerns about the large numbers of moving parts in a multi-rotor turbine compared to a regular turbine, and what this means for the whole turbine if just one piece fails.

Manufacturers will need to address this, and it will be even more of a concern for schemes in emerging markets and remote locations.

The second is how multi-rotor turbines would be received by planners and the public, and what this means for project risk. There is a vocal minority of people opposed to turbines in their current form for reasons including their look, their efficiency, and their impact on both wildlife and human health. Changing the look of turbines and adding blades will surely encourage objections and make it more difficult for investors to build their schemes.

And the third is how much more expensive these turbines would be than their conventional rivals, where costs will continue to fall over the next ten years. DNV GL said that, by 2025, only solar energy in very sunny locations would achieve lower-cost energy than wind, and developers may be reluctant to look towards pricier options.

Vestas and other manufacturers will no doubt be aware of these obstacles to the adoption of multi-rotor turbines. Even so, it is good to see them investing in this research. They may hit upon an industry-changing innovation they had not even considered.

Turbines keep getting taller and more powerful. But, by 2025, will they be far wider too?

That is the intriguing prospect that would arise with the advent of multi-rotor turbines — or, in other words, turbines that have more than one set of blades (see below). Manufacturers are looking at ways to generate more energy from their turbines and do not want to rely on making ever-bigger blades. Multi-rotor turbines is one of the concepts they are looking at.

Danish giant Vestas is among those looking at the technology. The firm last month revealed details of a concept project with the Technical University of Denmark, and the result is in the picture above. The research is still in its early stages, with the partners establishing if these strange-looking beasts are viable.

Initially, they have to develop, test and prove that they have the technology needed for multi-rotor turbines, including load and control systems, and then they will need to start looking at whether they can make the machines commercially viable.

That is a lot of work and it is for that reason that we do not expect to see these machines widely used by 2025.

Even DNV GL hedged its bets in its ‘Technology Outlook 2025’report last month when it said multi-rotor concepts “may appear” in the next ten years, and that growth of this technology depends on the mass production of larger numbers of smaller rotors.

However, we are more confident. Ten years is a long time and we expect to see some multi-rotor demonstration schemes working by 2025. We expect this to be accompanied by a lively debate on whether such machines will ever be widely accepted in the market.

But we do still have some reservations about the technology.

The first is that developers and investors want to reduce the risk
of their projects, which includes the types of turbines and other technology they choose. We expect many to have concerns about the large numbers of moving parts in a multi-rotor turbine compared to a regular turbine, and what this means for the whole turbine if just one piece fails.

Manufacturers will need to address this, and it will be even more of a concern for schemes in emerging markets and remote locations.

The second is how multi-rotor turbines would be received by planners and the public, and what this means for project risk. There is a vocal minority of people opposed to turbines in their current form for reasons including their look, their efficiency, and their impact on both wildlife and human health. Changing the look of turbines and adding blades will surely encourage objections and make it more difficult for investors to build their schemes.

And the third is how much more expensive these turbines would be than their conventional rivals, where costs will continue to fall over the next ten years. DNV GL said that, by 2025, only solar energy in very sunny locations would achieve lower-cost energy than wind, and developers may be reluctant to look towards pricier options.

Vestas and other manufacturers will no doubt be aware of these obstacles to the adoption of multi-rotor turbines. Even so, it is good to see them investing in this research. They may hit upon an industry-changing innovation they had not even considered.

Turbines keep getting taller and more powerful. But, by 2025, will they be far wider too?

That is the intriguing prospect that would arise with the advent of multi-rotor turbines — or, in other words, turbines that have more than one set of blades (see below). Manufacturers are looking at ways to generate more energy from their turbines and do not want to rely on making ever-bigger blades. Multi-rotor turbines is one of the concepts they are looking at.

Danish giant Vestas is among those looking at the technology. The firm last month revealed details of a concept project with the Technical University of Denmark, and the result is in the picture above. The research is still in its early stages, with the partners establishing if these strange-looking beasts are viable.

Initially, they have to develop, test and prove that they have the technology needed for multi-rotor turbines, including load and control systems, and then they will need to start looking at whether they can make the machines commercially viable.

That is a lot of work and it is for that reason that we do not expect to see these machines widely used by 2025.

Even DNV GL hedged its bets in its ‘Technology Outlook 2025’report last month when it said multi-rotor concepts “may appear” in the next ten years, and that growth of this technology depends on the mass production of larger numbers of smaller rotors.

However, we are more confident. Ten years is a long time and we expect to see some multi-rotor demonstration schemes working by 2025. We expect this to be accompanied by a lively debate on whether such machines will ever be widely accepted in the market.

But we do still have some reservations about the technology.

The first is that developers and investors want to reduce the risk
of their projects, which includes the types of turbines and other technology they choose. We expect many to have concerns about the large numbers of moving parts in a multi-rotor turbine compared to a regular turbine, and what this means for the whole turbine if just one piece fails.

Manufacturers will need to address this, and it will be even more of a concern for schemes in emerging markets and remote locations.

The second is how multi-rotor turbines would be received by planners and the public, and what this means for project risk. There is a vocal minority of people opposed to turbines in their current form for reasons including their look, their efficiency, and their impact on both wildlife and human health. Changing the look of turbines and adding blades will surely encourage objections and make it more difficult for investors to build their schemes.

And the third is how much more expensive these turbines would be than their conventional rivals, where costs will continue to fall over the next ten years. DNV GL said that, by 2025, only solar energy in very sunny locations would achieve lower-cost energy than wind, and developers may be reluctant to look towards pricier options.

Vestas and other manufacturers will no doubt be aware of these obstacles to the adoption of multi-rotor turbines. Even so, it is good to see them investing in this research. They may hit upon an industry-changing innovation they had not even considered.

Turbines keep getting taller and more powerful. But, by 2025, will they be far wider too?

That is the intriguing prospect that would arise with the advent of multi-rotor turbines — or, in other words, turbines that have more than one set of blades (see below). Manufacturers are looking at ways to generate more energy from their turbines and do not want to rely on making ever-bigger blades. Multi-rotor turbines is one of the concepts they are looking at.

Danish giant Vestas is among those looking at the technology. The firm last month revealed details of a concept project with the Technical University of Denmark, and the result is in the picture above. The research is still in its early stages, with the partners establishing if these strange-looking beasts are viable.

Initially, they have to develop, test and prove that they have the technology needed for multi-rotor turbines, including load and control systems, and then they will need to start looking at whether they can make the machines commercially viable.

That is a lot of work and it is for that reason that we do not expect to see these machines widely used by 2025.

Even DNV GL hedged its bets in its ‘Technology Outlook 2025’report last month when it said multi-rotor concepts “may appear” in the next ten years, and that growth of this technology depends on the mass production of larger numbers of smaller rotors.

However, we are more confident. Ten years is a long time and we expect to see some multi-rotor demonstration schemes working by 2025. We expect this to be accompanied by a lively debate on whether such machines will ever be widely accepted in the market.

But we do still have some reservations about the technology.

The first is that developers and investors want to reduce the risk
of their projects, which includes the types of turbines and other technology they choose. We expect many to have concerns about the large numbers of moving parts in a multi-rotor turbine compared to a regular turbine, and what this means for the whole turbine if just one piece fails.

Manufacturers will need to address this, and it will be even more of a concern for schemes in emerging markets and remote locations.

The second is how multi-rotor turbines would be received by planners and the public, and what this means for project risk. There is a vocal minority of people opposed to turbines in their current form for reasons including their look, their efficiency, and their impact on both wildlife and human health. Changing the look of turbines and adding blades will surely encourage objections and make it more difficult for investors to build their schemes.

And the third is how much more expensive these turbines would be than their conventional rivals, where costs will continue to fall over the next ten years. DNV GL said that, by 2025, only solar energy in very sunny locations would achieve lower-cost energy than wind, and developers may be reluctant to look towards pricier options.

Vestas and other manufacturers will no doubt be aware of these obstacles to the adoption of multi-rotor turbines. Even so, it is good to see them investing in this research. They may hit upon an industry-changing innovation they had not even considered.

Turbines keep getting taller and more powerful. But, by 2025, will they be far wider too?

That is the intriguing prospect that would arise with the advent of multi-rotor turbines — or, in other words, turbines that have more than one set of blades (see below). Manufacturers are looking at ways to generate more energy from their turbines and do not want to rely on making ever-bigger blades. Multi-rotor turbines is one of the concepts they are looking at.

Danish giant Vestas is among those looking at the technology. The firm last month revealed details of a concept project with the Technical University of Denmark, and the result is in the picture above. The research is still in its early stages, with the partners establishing if these strange-looking beasts are viable.

Initially, they have to develop, test and prove that they have the technology needed for multi-rotor turbines, including load and control systems, and then they will need to start looking at whether they can make the machines commercially viable.

That is a lot of work and it is for that reason that we do not expect to see these machines widely used by 2025.

Even DNV GL hedged its bets in its ‘Technology Outlook 2025’report last month when it said multi-rotor concepts “may appear” in the next ten years, and that growth of this technology depends on the mass production of larger numbers of smaller rotors.

However, we are more confident. Ten years is a long time and we expect to see some multi-rotor demonstration schemes working by 2025. We expect this to be accompanied by a lively debate on whether such machines will ever be widely accepted in the market.

But we do still have some reservations about the technology.

The first is that developers and investors want to reduce the risk
of their projects, which includes the types of turbines and other technology they choose. We expect many to have concerns about the large numbers of moving parts in a multi-rotor turbine compared to a regular turbine, and what this means for the whole turbine if just one piece fails.

Manufacturers will need to address this, and it will be even more of a concern for schemes in emerging markets and remote locations.

The second is how multi-rotor turbines would be received by planners and the public, and what this means for project risk. There is a vocal minority of people opposed to turbines in their current form for reasons including their look, their efficiency, and their impact on both wildlife and human health. Changing the look of turbines and adding blades will surely encourage objections and make it more difficult for investors to build their schemes.

And the third is how much more expensive these turbines would be than their conventional rivals, where costs will continue to fall over the next ten years. DNV GL said that, by 2025, only solar energy in very sunny locations would achieve lower-cost energy than wind, and developers may be reluctant to look towards pricier options.

Vestas and other manufacturers will no doubt be aware of these obstacles to the adoption of multi-rotor turbines. Even so, it is good to see them investing in this research. They may hit upon an industry-changing innovation they had not even considered.

Full archive access is available to members only

Not a member yet?

Become a member of the 6,500-strong A Word About Wind community today, and gain access to our premium content, exclusive lead generation and investment opportunities.

Full archive access is available to members only

Not a member yet?

Become a member of the 6,500-strong A Word About Wind community today, and gain access to our premium content, exclusive lead generation and investment opportunities.