Normally wind turbines lose up to 39.7 percent of potential energy because wind not only flows through the blades, but is also directed away from the turbine. The new FloDesign Wind Turbine takes cues from jet engine designs in order to minimize this wasted energy.[social_buttons]
The company has enshrouded the moving blades with a set of stationary blades that propel the wind towards the rotor. The idea is not new, but previous designs have needed to constantly be aligned with the direction of the wind. The FloDesign turbine can automatically align to the wind direction and has been tested to be effective from up to 20 degrees away.
Conventional turbine design requires gigantic, slow-moving blades in order to compensate for the energy lost as the wind is directed around the device. FloDesign claims their new turbine can generate as much energy as a typical turbine twice its size.
Using these smaller turbines, wind farms could double or triple their efficiency simply by adding more turbines. The new technology could also finally silence critics of wind farms who say they are a cosmetic blight on landscapes and ocean views.
Check out this video FloDesign has produced to explain the technology in detail, complete with hip soundtrack.
Alex is primarily concerned with animal welfare, wildlife conservation, and environmental justice. As a freelance writer in San Francisco, he leads a deliberately simplistic and thrifty lifestyle, yet still can’t help gawking at the newest green gadgets and zero-emission concept cars.