Renewable source of energy are playing a big role in making the planet pollution free, though we are far from reaching that target yet but the positive initiatives will certainly pave the way for success. Wind energy in addition to solar energy are at the forefront of innovations in the renewable energy sector and we will particularly concentrate here on exploring various wind turbine designs which can result in substantial improvement in efficiency of these turbines.
WhalePower is a Company that has worked to re-design the normal smooth blades present in any normal turbine and added succession of ridges similar to the bumps or tubercles present on fins of any humpback whale. According to them, the new blade design will help in improving yearly electricity production capacity of wind farms by as much as twenty percent.
We generally see that the Humpback whales tend to tilt the fins by rather steep angles for achieving greater lift in water. However, a lot of tilt can have negative effect and result in stalling which means loss of lift. The solution is use of tubercles, which are useful in preventing stalling and permit greater fin tilts. WhalePower has been able to create structures on blades of the turbines, which are similar to tubercles, allowing steeper angles for the blades without suffering any stalling.
According to studies, it has been found that blades which have steeper angles are able to generate more power in low wind situations. In wind tunnel tests performed at Duke University, it was found that there was 40% reduction in stall angle if bumps similar to tubercles were added to any model fins.
Bladeless Wind Turbine:
Saphon, a Company in Tunisia is working on development of technology for wind turbines that will be more efficient, less costly and without any blades on the turbines. The primary inspiration for this technology are the sailboats and blades in the turbine are totally swapped by sail shaped body while at the same time the gearbox as well as the hub are also removed.
As per the company, these new turbines will be able to overcome the Betz’ limit according to which, turbines cannot capture more than 59.3% of wind’s kinetic energy. Presently, any normal turbine is able to capture only about forty percent while the new turbine from Saphon will have 2.3 times greater efficiency. In addition to it the price will also be less since there will not be any gearbox, blades or hub present in the turbine.
This new technology will be different from others in some aspects, particularly in the way it stores the energy. It will be possible to store the kinetic energy produced using hydraulic accumulator or transformed into electricity.
Quiet Revolution Qr5:
This has been designed for use in low wind speed areas and where wind direction keeps on changing. Normal turbines collect horizontal wind and start rotating to pursue directional changes of wind while Qr5 has a helical design that lets wind turbine to receive wind from every direction.
It is a vertical turbine standing thirty foot tall and is able to generate two thousand kilowatt every hour if winds blow at a speed of 12-mph. Windspire has a propeller less rotor and power is generated as and when wind the vertical airfoils spin.
Mageen Air Rotor System:
It is a wind turbine for high altitude and stays afloat with airship kind of body filled with helium. There are fins on the sides, which rotate when wind blows and generate electricity.
This small-scale turbine is able to generate forty milliwatts in winds blowing at ten mph and costs few dollars to create. Here a pair of magnets is set on a membrane, which in turn oscillates between two wire coils thereby generating electricity.
Many innovative techniques are being implemented which aim to improve the way wind turbines perform. These methods can have significant benefits for the industry and help to improve the electric generation capacity.