I think What's On may have damaged my fragile eggshell mind.
Despite that, I will tackle the Maglev "innovation" and respond to Jeff's positive appraisal.
(Note to ATA Mods... Keef has not said B....cks at all this week)
Fiat money isn't worth anything anyway so why worry about it being "wasted"? There are more important things to worry about in life.
I recently drove a Fiat Panda in UK.
It was rubbish!
It had a strange semi automatic gearbox and when trying to reverse into a parking spot or make a 3 point turn it would flash "Not Allowed" and go into a sulk for 5 minutes.
I'm confident that you would get more "ears to hear" if your posts were more like your intitial response to mine. It was informative and even entertaining! This forum is all about sharing information, well presented and easy digested infomation is always welcome!
Not only that, but I can spel too.
Now I won't comment on the company without knowing to much about the company developing the technology, but on the engineering side I feel comfortable enough to comment. I see that you didn't even bother to write your own reasons why this device is a "green scam" and rather resorted to simply copying one of the comments from the inhabitant site. But regardless of this, and without taking sides (theirs or yours, I firmly sit on my own fence in all my posts ) let me respond to "your" numbered points listed in your post above:
I like to sit on fences too, but splinters can be a problem
1) Most start-ups are without history.
When was the last time you saw an "old" company with a "new" idea. Financial "powerhouses" do not stake their equity on "revolutionary ideas" or anything with risk. No risk and gradual is the way of all large business, hence no real "revolutionary" technological development, only "evolutionary".
2)-3) Many start-ups take time to present specific information because of IP and Patenting. Nothing really alarming there. Apart from the fact that this Maglev Turbine article is from way back in 2007, without much happening since from what I can Google!
And some start-ups never present anything because the idea is......not very good
4) Artist's impressions or CAD renderings are very common for engineering projects of this type. Without them they wouldn't get publicity or resulting funding from potential investors to realise. Many systems are modelled and prototyped digitally to save development costs and "iron out problems" before prototype construction. So digital models and illistrations are merely a consequence of this.
Artist impressions are a Red Flag
5) The maximum efficiency of this turbine is not as relevant as the efficiency at what speed. These type of VAWTs typically have a lower start-up speed, they claim around 1.5m/s or about 5kmh which means it will be more effective at low speed energy production than a HAWT, which won't start up at that speed, especially for that size turbine. For example the largest Enercon turbine the E-126 (7.5MW) only starts up at 2x that speed at 3m/s. Obviously the lower wind speeds also produce less energy so the effect would initially not be so much, but being able to use a greater wind speed range will harvest extra energy (or raise the average wind speed harvested) which is not available with a HAWT. The E-126 for instance only max's out at 15m/s (+50kmh) which is fairly uncommon average wind speed in most parts of the world. The best power coefficient of the E-126 is at a lower speed around 10m/s, which is still above average wind speed. In WA it's typically under 7.5m/s. I agree that some more specs would be good to make a more accurate appraisal, but on the face of it, and from the back of my envelope, it would seem feasible at least.
It matters little that VAWT start spinning at a lower speed.
The power varies as the cube of wind speed which is why AVERAGE wind speeds at a site are a poor predictor of annual generation.
Low start-up speed is only worthwhile for PR purposes, it LOOKS impressive when the turbine is rotating gaily.
Savonius turbines are notoriously inefficient.
Wind speeds are much lower at ground level which is why real turbines are up on a stick.
Turbulence at low levels is also a big problem.
6) Friction depends on the amount of torque being applied to the rotational axis, in the case of a VAWT these forces are x times greater, so bearing losses do become relevant, at least from an engineering perspective. This is mostly due to the leverage effect from wind pressure applied at the top of the VAWT but with bearing far away at the bottom (ie long lever). HAWTS don't have the same type of bearings, in fact they have much smaller thrust type bearings because the primary force applied by the propellers is axial not lateral like in a ground mounted VAWT.
Imagine that the lateral load of a HAWT is balanced due to having propellers on opposing sides of the rotational axis. A VAWT does not have any counteracting "propellers" on the other side of the rotational axis (ie underground), so the torque is greater across the bearing. This has always been a major drawback of VAWTs. I don't believe that the maglev componentry is solely to reduce frictional losses of the turbine btw, I think it will also be used as part of the alternator to generate electricity. Combining the two at this scale also seems like a logical engineering choice. Not that I would condone building such a monstrosity at all... I firmly believe in de-centralising and diversifying, not the generally practiced accumulation of problems by scaling technology up into uncontrollable proportions (ie fossil fuels).
Off axis forces (not torque) are indeed much higher for a VAWT.
One aesthetically pleasing solution is to attach a cross bar at the apex and run guy wires.
Residents of Vaucluse have expressed support for installation of hundreds of such turbines along the clifftops.
The bearings used on cars and trucks have to cope with off axis forces.
Nobody has seriously suggested that Maglev bearings should be used to improve efficiency.
7) Some things are good and true. Otherwise electricity would still be witchcraft. Our current perception does not always constitute the truth, it merely represents our understanding of that moment in time. We can always learn more, with which we can then try to understand the unfathomable.
Electricity is not witchcraft.
It is founded upon the SCIENTIFIC METHOD http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_method
This widget fails the test.
On proving the negative: Maybe your time would be better spent "doing" the positive?
I believe in change by leadership. Just an hour of sunlight a day would run the whole human race energy consumption for a year. There is no energy shortage, only a shorage of intelligent people doing intelligent things to harvest it.
I have done some positive things.
I have lived off grid for many years.
I ran a solar hot water business but underestimated the degree of difficulty.
Customers replacing an inefficient electric water heater were often disappointed that they no longer enjoyed water at 70C (normal thermostat setting for storage cylinders).
They now had woozy warm water at 50C due to the compulsory tempering valve.
Cost of modifying pipework to run separate lines is usually prohibitive for retrofits.
There were some other issues also.
The manufacturer seems to have been more concerned with maximising government R&D funding rather than listening to complaints of customers and distributors.
The experience reduced my gruntle.
Sunlight is not 24/7/365 (Duh!)
Energy storage (with the exception of pumped hydro) has not been achieved in any viable form thus far.
Some companies and research organisations are working diligently to find a way of doing it.
Some (a lot?) of Green Widget Companies are following the tried and tested formula of...
"coming real soon send MUNNY)
Thank you Jeff and John for joining in the debate.
If a few more voices would care to join in then we could all mass -------