G.E. installs its first 4-MW gearless wind turbines

The wind turbine, located in southern Sweden, is designed with direct-drive technology, which connects the shaft of the rotor blades directly to a slow-speed generator. As the blades revolve, the magnets transform the rotor movement directly into electrical power. Traditional wind turbines need to connect the rotor shaft to a gearbox first before a generator can produce electricity.

With fewer moving parts, gearless wind turbines are said to be ideal for the offshore wind farm, where it’s difficult and expensive to repair and maintain devices. G.E. first introduced its model last March at the European Wind Energy Association’s offshore wind power conference in Amsterdam.

G.E. said the new 4 MW-class turbine can power 3,000 Swedish homes per year and reduce 15,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions, equal to the emissions of 7,500 cars. Connection to the grid is scheduled to be complete by the end of this year, according to a statement.

G.E. installed the turbine together with G"oteborg Energi, an energy company wholly owned by the Gothenburg Municipal Management of the city of Gothenburg.

Sweden currently has the greatest share of renewable energy in all European Union countries. Currently, more than 45 percent of all Swedish energy consumption is covered by sources of renewable energy. About two percent of all the electricity produced in country comes from wind power, while most come from hydropower. Sweden looks to raise their target to 49 percent by the end of the decade.