31 January 2008

Unconventional Vertical Axis 9 MW Wind Generator

The floating "V" shaped vertical axis wind generator above is called an "Aerogenerator." It sports two counter-balancing arms rising at an angle--each equipped with horizontal "aerofoils" providing lift and causing the entire "V" upper structure to turn at 3 rpm.
The 144-metre high V-shaped structure would be mounted offshore and capable of generating up to 9 megawatts of electricity, roughly three times as much power as a conventional turbine of equivalent size. Switching to such a design could ensure that thousands fewer turbines would be needed in order to meet the government's new wind power target, says Theo Bird, founder of Windpower, the Blyth-based firm behind the new turbine.

...[it] has two arms jutting out from its base to form a V-shape, with rigid "sails" mounted along their length at intervals. As the wind passes over these they act like aerofoils, generating lift which turns the structure as a whole at roughly three revolutions per minute, says Bird....Windpower recently carried out wind tunnel tests on a 6kW scaled version of the Aerogenerator at the New and Renewable Energy Centre in Blyth. These suggested that the predicted power outputs could be achieved.

The beauty of this design is that no matter how high the two main structures are made it is relatively simple to make them bottom heavy. Because of this the technology lends itself to large engineering projects, which is precisely what is needed with wind power, says Bird. ___Guardian

H/T Ecofriend

Vertical axis wind turbines have advantages over horizontal axis turbines--depending upon the design and location. The Aerogenerator above was designed to get around some of the limitations of large vertical axis turbines, such as instability above a certain size.

The low speed of the Aerogenerator (3rpm) limits the stress on the blades, but the huge swept area of the blades yields enormous energies. Lower altitude winds are slower, but offshore winds are unobstructed by trees, buildings, and land features.

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