Genius has no age: perhaps a 92-year-old engineer in Germany is about to change the world of renewable energies. Horst Bendix, former head of research at the Kirov of Leipzig, has invented a new wind farm that generates three times as much energy as traditional ones.
How does "triple" wind power work?
Current wind turbines have problems related to the forces of flexion, which increase with altitude. Bendix thought of building taller ones, mounted on a tripod structure (one vertical column and two supporting ones), to capture stronger and more constant winds.
In practice, the engineer intends to make wind energy more productive thanks to high-altitude winds. Nothing new, right? Well, it depends on how you interpret the concept.
- wind farms traditional produce about 10 GWh per year. With Bendix's innovation, a single wind farm could produce between 20 and 30 GWh per year, or two to three times as much.
Already tested near Leipzig, the 140-metre-high Bendix wind farms generate 20 GWh of electricity per year, equivalent to the consumption of 6.000 three-person households.
What about bending forces? The engineer also thought about this
The secret of the Bendix plant is the tripod structure: moreover, the generator is no longer positioned at the top, but several generators are distributed along the tower. Thanks to a system of belts, wind energy is transmitted to the generators from top to bottom, eliminating the weight usually concentrated at the top.
The next steps
The German engineer's wind farm it is already patented and ready for large-scale production. It could bring a crucial breakthrough in meeting renewable energy production targets in Germany and Europe. If you want more information, you can find them here.
Despite the record numbers, in fact (Germany is the largest producer of wind energy in Europe, with 113,85 TWh in 2021, equal to 29,6% of the total production of the European Union) these numbers are still insufficient.
Engineer, grandfather and example
More needs to be done to achieve the goals set and complete the energy transition. And this 92-year-old grandfather-engineer motivates us, demonstrating that ingenuity and a passion for progress can lead to surprising results.