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Thursday, May 15, 2008

Big leap in Wind Turbine tech ?

A new start up company called FloDesign Wind Turbine has not only won several MIT awards totaling $300k in recent weeks but quite possibly the funding of notable Venture Capitalists Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Bayers, apparently represented by Al Gore

The FloDesign wind turbine which looks like the front of a jet engine is claimed to be 3-4 times more efficient than the current exposed blade turbines, operating well in both low and high wind conditions.

These units as proposed can be assembled on site rather than trucked in pieces which will lower shipping costs.

Are much smaller, allowing them to be placed much closer together and allowing greater power generation/area.

I would assume the smaller size should also reduce the amount of resources needed to manufacture the turbines and the masts, it all looks pretty encouraging.

There is a good write up here and another with a decent video here

This definitely just a start up firm, (example: their web site is a just a picture with a contact link),but if they do have funding and can make this work as projected they will be huge. They even have orders pending, provided they meet performance and development goals.Recommend this Post


Val said...

What about the birds? Will this save the birds?

GAB said...

moving steel blades and birds will never mix, these units have smaller profiles but you cannot pass between the blades like you might be able to on the old designs so it probably works out even. More power with no more birds is something at least.

JimBobby said...

Whooee! A while back, I saw an article about another new design. I've been looking for that again and I can't find it. Maybe you've seen it.

The wind turbine was a tall, skinny cone-shaped affair with blades running from top to bottom. Sort of like those wind-powered spinning signs made from oil drums.

The idea was that there's really no space showing between the blades (for birds to fly through) and the units could be placed very close to one another, saving land use.


GAB said...
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GAB said...

I asked an energy industry engineer about vertical axis turbines and for the most part the weight sitting on the barrings wears them out faster than horizontal axis. I dunno, me no techie?

there are some now that use a form of magnetic levitation to (they claim) to solve this problem.

We all know when it comes down to it power/acre will decide not the birds:(

here's a link to a bunch of vertical wind machines

JimBobby said...

Thanks for those links. Exactly what I was looking for.