Wind energy is a clean source of renewable energy. A windmill generates electricity far cheaper than any other resources. It uses the power of flowing air to rotate its big blades that is connected to turbine to generate electricity. Windmills have major operational difficulties.
They need large amount of open space apart from being erected to a great height. However, the difficulties do not end there. The lack of air flowing in the same direction of that of windmills can also be major operational problem. Scientists all over the world are working to minimize these operational difficulties. Some also achieved significant breakthrough.
Here are five of the major breakthroughs that can make wind power very affordable.
1. Wind Jammers: Laser Technology to Boost Wind Power
The Virginia based company is testing the integration of laser technology with windmill. They are trying to design a laser-based technology to predict airflow from far and simultaneously align the windmill blades to harness maximum amount of power. The company researches have shown that there is a substantial increase of 10% in electricity generation than the conventional windmills. Most of the movable windmills use passed through wind to predict the wind direction, which is not often accurate enough, as wind rapidly changes its direction. The laser technology can predict the airflow from quite a distance that leads to better alignments. Implementing the technology will also reduce the shear on windmills due to misalignments reducing the operational cost.
2. General Electric (GE) technologies to Boost Wind Power
General Electric has come up with a unique idea to harness the mechanical inertia based energy. They are using advanced powertronics to develop a system that applies mechanical inertia based torque to deliver a pulse increase in electrical energy. They are using the technology to reduce the delay in shifting between the wind based electrical energy and other source of electrical energy used when wind energy is not sufficient to meet the energy requirement. They have estimated an increase of 5-10% in power generation capacity of the modified turbines. They also give expert advice about the layout of the windmills to harness maximum amount of electricity depending upon the geographical area and climatic conditions.
3. Plastic & Steel Funnel Increases Wind Turbine Output
Leviathan energy has come with a new wind energizer technology. Instead of modifying the windmills, they have come up with a unique accessorial change to focus more air to turbines. They are modifying the grounds attachment to give a shape that will focus the air. These modified designs are based on the geographical and climatic condition of the area. These accessorial attachments will be made with steel or plastic. They have estimated an increase of 30% in power generation. They are also claiming that it can increase the wind energy harnessing by 150% in low wind areas. If the claim proves true then windmills will not need such large spaces to operate.
4. âWind Lensâ Wind Turbine Could Boost Energy Generation 300%
This is a conceptual design by a Japanese professor Yuji Ohya. Their team has proposed a honeycomb like placing of windmills in offshore areas to enhance the electricity generation. They are claiming that the wind lens structure can focus more air than any other current technology. The design is very simple. It comprises of a big hoop to magnify the airflow and a turbine to generate electricity. A windmill of this design will be of 112 m diameter that will be sufficient to power a single home. Some major power companies of Japan have shown considerable interest toward implementation of this conceptual design.
5. Strong, light blades a boost for wind energy
This is simpler technology but can be effective in its own way. Bigger windmills have metal blades, with a very powerful wind to come out of inertia. Therefore, stronger and lighter wind blades can efficiently harness the energy. Most of the researchers are experimenting with polymer based wind blades that are light and strong. Some of the scientists are also working with carbon fiber based blades, as they are very strong and extremely light. Dr. Marcio Loos, a postdoctoral researcher has designed a 29â polyurethane blade that is even lighter and stronger than epoxy blades. These blades have eight times more longevity than conventional blades. These blades have also passed delaminating fracture tests to prove themselves implementable.