The world has started acknowledging the issue of depleting non-renewable resources seriously. Today world’s thirst of energy has lead to energy crisis along with serious threat to our health and environment. The fears of global warming, ozone layer depletion and pollution have taken over the developed as well as developing countries alike. Thus, it becomes imperative to switch to renewable sources of energy. We have been using wind energy since ages for irrigation, electricity, milling and other related purposes. The wind turbines have grown in terms of number, size and output considerably since their introduction.
Today, it is the need of the hour to come up with improved designs and techniques to enhance the output of existing wind turbines. People all over the world have been working on the same and come up with innovative advancements. Here we have discussed five technological advancements in wind turbines promising better output. Let’s have a look:
1. Leviathan Energy
Leviathan Energy is an ideal way to increase the efficiency of a wind turbine. The best part is that there is no need to increase the size of the turbine. This innovation is developed by Daniel Farb, the CEO of Leviathan Energy. He has named this innovation “Wind Energizer” which is capable of increasing wind energy output by 30 percent. The idea was to modify the environment around the turbine to ensure that highest velocity winds hits the blade rather than increasing the blade size of the turbine. So a donut shape structure was formed in such shape and dimensions such that highest velocity wind hits the blade. The break even for erecting this structure has been estimated to be around four to five years, thus, making it an irresistible deal.
2. Tower Height
Advance Turbine System (ATS) has come up with a innovative technique to increase the output of a wind turbine by increasing its height. Conventionally people used to increase the blade size to increase the turbine efficiency which soon turned out to be an expensive option with limited availability of space. However, with this technique one can boost the efficiency of the turbine by 20 percent. This is surely a cost-effective method that will continue to offer its benefits for a longer period of time without incurring considerable amount of money.
3. Vindicator Laser System
National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) along with Virginia based organization “Catch the Wind” have together come up with a Vindicator Laser System that increases the efficiency of a wind turbine. This system has sensors that monitor wind speed and direction in order to automatically adjust the position of turbine blades. They position blades in such a manner that stress is reduced so that more energy is generated. Vindicator Laser System facilitates in optimum utilization of the available wind energy. With this fiber optic laser based systems installed at the wind turbines, researchers are expecting to increase its output by 30 percent.
4. SpiDAR System
Pentalum Technologies has developed a low-cost device that measures the speed and direction of the wind seconds before it hits the turbine blade. Named as SpiDAR, this device is capable of receiving measurements up to 200 meters of height. This device transfers all the data it measures with the aid of wind sensors to central headquarters. The scientists sitting there analyze the speed and direction to set a particular position of the turbine blades accordingly to ensure maximum output. It has been estimated that SpiDAR system can deliver 15 percent better performance that other substitutes available in the market. SpiDAR system has been introduced in the market as an improved version over LIDAR and other related systems.
5. Jet-inspired Wind Turbines
FloDesign Wind Turbine has introduced an innovative, turbine design which can generate electricity at half the cost if a conventional wind turbine. Drawing inspirations from jet engines, this design has been developed to minimize the wind losses. Conventionally in a wind turbine, half of the wind energy is spent on rotating the blades while the other half in generating electricity. This wind turbine design effectively increases the speed of the wind when it leaves the blade, thus, increasing its output. With this innovative design one can have the same amount of electricity generated by a turbine of half the size. So we have can now install more turbines per acre of land, thereby, increasing the efficiency manifold. The shroud used in this design facilitates more air to be sucked in ensuing increased power output.