We've seen a couple innovative wind power
solutions pop up, but none that claim to offer the benefits of maglev wind turbines, which use full-permanent magnets to nearly eliminate friction by "floating" the blades above the base. According to developers, the technology is capable of scaling to massive sizes, with a proposed $53M turbine able enough to replace 1000 traditional windmills and power 750 thousand homes. Additional benefits include the ability to generate power with winds as slow as three miles per hour, operational costs some 50 percent cheaper than windmills, and an estimated lifespan of 500 years. That all sounds great, but the real proof will come when these things get put to use, which may happen sooner than you'd think: Development is proceeding rapidly in both the US and China, with Chinese power company Zhongke Hengyuan Energy Technology currently building a $5M factory to produce the turbines in capacities from 400 to 5,000 watts.