Now this is a gadget. Just look at the 6-megawatt direct-drive generator, equipped with a huge permanent magnet rotor: it was designed by General Electric’s engineers and it is one of the largest of its kind that ever built.

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The numbers are impressive. The 150-ton generator is 24-feet wide, and it will be sitting hundreds of feet above the waves at the top of a wind turbine. There, a giant 500-feet-diameter rotor will turn the huge magnet. (In fact, two double-decker Airbus A380 planes could be easily fit into its area that the blades will sweep.)

It will be used in America’s first offshore wind farm that’s currently being built near Block Island, Rhode Island. According to GE the farm will produce enough electricity to power 5,000 American homes.

GE makes the generators in St. Nazaire in France. Photo: GE Renewable Energy
A giant GE wind turbine called the Haliade is leaving the St. Nazaire factory. The generator is located behid the hub, the pointy part up front. Photo: GE Renewable Energy