Bio-inspired wind turbines with flexible blades 35% more efficient

June 8, 2017 by  
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Wind energy already yields four percent of Earth’s power, but five researchers at French institutions recently drew inspiration from nature to make wind turbines even better. Inspired by creatures like dragonflies, they found flexible blades on wind turbines make the machines much more efficient. Wind turbines today work best under optimal wind speeds, but the new bio-inspired design could offer a way around that fact, making wind power even more accessible. Wind speeds impact the functioning of a wind turbine. If the wind is too slow, the turbine won’t turn and generate energy; if the wind is too fast it could damage the turbine. Wind also must hit the turbines at the correct pitch angle to apply the correct amount of torque to the generator, according to Science. The new research from scientists at Sorbonne University and École Nationale Supérieure des Arts et Métiers-ParisTech fixes these issues with flexible blades much like insect wings. Related: Revolutionary flapping wind turbine mimics hummingbirds to produce clean energy The researchers constructed prototypes with regular hard turbine blades, slightly flexible turbine blades, and very flexible turbine blades. The last design turned out to be too floppy, but the slightly flexible blades outperformed the rigid ones, offering as much as 35 percent more power . They also continued to work in lower wind conditions and weren’t as susceptible to damage in high winds. The journal Proceedings of the Royal Society A published the research online in February. But the scientists’ work isn’t yet done: they now need to search for the right material that’s “flexible, but not too flexible,” according to lead author Vincent Cognet, to scale up the findings. Engineer Asfaw Beyene of San Diego State University, who was not part of this study, told Science, “The fluid mechanics and the physics make absolute sense. There’s no reason why we cannot make morphing blades that will adapt to wind conditions.” Via Science and Tech Xplore Images via Joi Ito on Flickr and Pexels

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Bio-inspired wind turbines with flexible blades 35% more efficient

Tiny two-pound Micro Wind Turbine folds up just like an umbrella

September 21, 2016 by  
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While scaled-up renewable energy plants can generate a great deal of energy , there’s a huge demand for smaller devices in off-grid, remote, or harsh locations. Designer Nils Ferber created a Micro Wind Turbine that works as well on a blustery mountaintop as it does in a backyard garden, and can charge smartphones via a USB port on the turbine . Weighing around two pounds, the Micro Wind Turbine folds up like an umbrella and can be easily transported. https://vimeo.com/174336941 Ferber’s Micro Wind Turbine unfolds along a telescopic shaft, popping out into a tiny turbine that ” produces a constant output of five watts at a windspeed of 18 kilometers per hour .” An “integrated battery pack” with a 24 watt-hour capacity can store the energy, or users can charge a device directly through a USB port right on the turbine. The blades are made of sturdy fabric and can capture wind energy blowing from any direction. Related: Insane Screwdriver-Powered EX Vehicle Rockets You Headfirst Through the Streets The Micro Wind Turbine works where solar panels tend to struggle, such as cloudy locations where sunlight is infrequent or at night. It’s designed for outdoor explorers, filmmakers, climbers, scientists, and even rescue workers who adventure or labor in extreme locations where there’s not as much easy access to power. Its slight frame won’t add much to the gear or equipment a person is already packing; at around two pounds it is ” 40 percent lighter than the closest competitor ,” according to Ferber. He tested the Micro Wind Turbine in the Swiss Alps, demonstrating its effectiveness in very windy weather. While the initial Micro Wind Turbine works for just one person, Ferber says the turbine is “easily scaleable.” According to his James Dyson Award page , he is searching for partners to develop the wind turbine into a marketable product. + Nils Ferber Via Treehugger Images via Christian Holweck , Jagoda Wisniewska , and Nils Ferber

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Tiny two-pound Micro Wind Turbine folds up just like an umbrella

World’s longest wind turbine blade expected to drive down offshore energy costs

June 24, 2016 by  
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Wind energy has grown in its widespread application, as well as its hardware. Turbine manufacturer Adwen and rotor blade suppliers LM Wind Power have come together to build the world’s largest wind turbine blade . At 88.4 meters or 290 feet, the turbine promises to bring offshore energy costs down. The gigantic blade has been developed to fit Adwen’s AD 8-180 turbine , which already has the largest rotor in the industry (180 meters) and the highest annual energy production of any other wind turbine out there. The first blade is being sent off for testing at LM’s factory in Lunderskov, Denmark. Related: Engineers have found a way to harvest wind energy from trees Adwen General Manager Luis Álvarez said in a statement , “When you are building the largest wind turbine in the world, almost everything you do is an unprecedented challenge. We are going where no one else has ever gone before, pushing all the known frontiers in the industry.” The record-breaking turbine is meant to lower the Levelised Cost of Energy (LCoE) for offshore wind power. Through its meticulous engineering, it will likely achieve just that. + Adwen , LM Wind Power Via Clean Technica Images via Adwen

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Three Technologies Square Off for Floating Wind Farm Supremacy

July 3, 2014 by  
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The renewable energy race is heating up with three new floating wind farm technologies squaring off for top spot . The challenge for floating wind farm engineering is to create a system that can be anchored deep in the oceans and stand up to the worst weather the world can throw at them. The reward is the ability to harness some of the most powerful winds on Earth. Current ocean wind farm technology involves anchoring turbines to the ocean floor, which gets costly and challenging at sea depths more than 40 meters (131 feet). Read on to learn how three cutting-edge technologies are changing the game. Read the rest of Three Technologies Square Off for Floating Wind Farm Supremacy Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “wind power” , Electricity , farm , Fukushima , generation , green , Hywind , Japan , mitsubishi , mitusi , power , renewable , renewable energy , statoil , Technology , turbine , WindFloat

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Three Technologies Square Off for Floating Wind Farm Supremacy

Alstom Completes World’s Largest Offshore Wind Turbine Off the Belgian Coast

November 25, 2013 by  
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The world’s largest offshore wind turbine was recently installed in the waters near Ostend Harbour at the Belwind Wind Farm in Belgium. The 6 MW Haliade 150 wind turbine model, with 73 meter long blades and a 78 meter tower was built by the French company Alstom and is expected to harvest 15 percent more energy than existing offshore wind turbines. Read the rest of Alstom Completes World’s Largest Offshore Wind Turbine Off the Belgian Coast Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “clean energy” , Alstom offshore wind turbine , Alstom wind turbines , Belwind Wind Farm , green technology , Haliade 150 wind turbine , Heliade turbine , largest offshore wind turbine in Belgium , Le Carnet wind farm , offshore wind farms , offshore wind turbine , wind energy , wind turbine design , world’s largest offshore wind turbine        

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Alstom Completes World’s Largest Offshore Wind Turbine Off the Belgian Coast

Renzo Piano’s Dragonfly-Inspired Turbine Can Harvest Energy from the Slowest Winds

October 25, 2013 by  
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As we shift away from fossil fuels, many utilities have focused on building the biggest and most powerful wind turbines possible to meet growing energy needs. Architect Renzo Piano has taken a different approach, however, focusing his efforts on a compact, yet super-efficient wind turbine that anyone can erect in their backyard. Called the “ Dragonfly Invisible Wind Turbine ” the two-blade design mimics the delicate dragonfly’s ability to float on the slightest of breezes. Based on the physics of dragonfly flight, Piano’s mini-turbine can harvest energy from winds that blow as slow as four miles an hour. Read the rest of Renzo Piano’s Dragonfly-Inspired Turbine Can Harvest Energy from the Slowest Winds Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “energy efficiency” , “wind power” , biomimicry , Design , Dragonflies , ENEL Green Power , italy , renewable energy , renzo piano , wind turbines        

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Renzo Piano’s Dragonfly-Inspired Turbine Can Harvest Energy from the Slowest Winds

Spain Inaugurates its First Offshore Wind Turbine

October 22, 2013 by  
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Spain just launched its first offshore wind turbine on Monday! The 505-foot-tall turbine with 205-foot-long blades is expected to meet the annual energy needs of 7,500 homes on the archipelago. Installed on a dyke off the Arinaga port in July of this year, the turbine is expected to obtain its certification around March 2014, at which point it will be connected to the local electrical grid. Read the rest of Spain Inaugurates its First Offshore Wind Turbine Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “sustainable energy” , “wind turbine” , Canary Islands , clean tech , Gamesa , green tech , offshore turbine , renewable energy , Spain , Spain inaugurates first offshore wind turbine , Spain’s first offshore wind turbine , spain’s renewable energy sector , wind energy        

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1,000-Foot Wind Turbine to Be Erected in Hamburg

April 1, 2013 by  
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A giant 40MW wind turbine with a blade span diameter of 600 feet is to be erected in Hamburg, Germany . The turbine, dubbed “Reisemill,” which means “giant mill” in German, will generate enough electricity to power 13,333 homes. The 1,000-foot tall turbine will be big enough to house living quarters for the maintenance personnel. Read the rest of 1,000-Foot Wind Turbine to Be Erected in Hamburg Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “clean energy” , Germany Nuclear phase-out , Germany wind industry , Germany wind power , Hamburg wind power , huge wind turbine Germany , nuclear energy Germany , offshore wind farms Germany , onshore wind farms Germany , renewable energy , renewable energy sources , wind turbines

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1,000-Foot Wind Turbine to Be Erected in Hamburg

Siemens’ Lean New 6.0 MW Turbina Sapiens Wind Turbine Uses 50% Less Parts Than Competitors

November 15, 2012 by  
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Offshore wind turbines sometimes get a bad rap: they’re heavy, require too much maintenance and they’re expensive, but Siemens has overcome these obstacles with Turbina Sapiens , a brand new 6.0 MW wind turbine that uses 50% less parts than their rivals. Featuring Siemens’ proven direct drive technology , fewer parts, smart technology that effortlessly manages energy flow, and a towerhead mass of less than 350 tons, this giant slashes construction, installation and maintenance costs and increases the project’s overall energy output. Read the rest of Siemens’ Lean New 6.0 MW Turbina Sapiens Wind Turbine Uses 50% Less Parts Than Competitors Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “clean energy” , “wind power” , 6.0MW wind turbine , clean tech , Design , grid compliance , lighter wind turbines by Siemens , renewable energy , siemens , sustainable design , Turbina Sapiens , wind energy , wind turbines

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Siemens’ Lean New 6.0 MW Turbina Sapiens Wind Turbine Uses 50% Less Parts Than Competitors

TimberTower: The World’s First Wooden Wind Turbine Erected in Germany

November 13, 2012 by  
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According to a Department of Energy report released in August,  roughly $14 billion was invested in the wind industry last year, which accounts for a 32 percent increase in U.S. generating capacity and supports roughly 75,000 full-time jobs in 43 states. While all that clean energy is a great thing, wind turbines aren’t as green as you may think. Currently, more steel is being used in the wind energy industry than in shipbuilding. Making steel requires enormous amounts of energy, is expensive, and releases harmful CO2 into the atmosphere. That’s why a German company called TimberTower is experimenting with a new turbine design – the company recently celebrated the installation of the world’s first wooden wind turbine tower in Hanover, Germany. TimberTower says the turbine will sequester 400 tons of CO2 while generating clean, renewable energy . Read the rest of TimberTower: The World’s First Wooden Wind Turbine Erected in Germany Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: carbon emissions , germany , hanover , steel , TimberTower , wind energy , wind turbine tower

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