FloDesign, an R&D start-up in the US that has created a wind turbine design based on jet engine technology, just secured $34.5 million to help begin commercial development of its turbines. Lars Andersen, former president of Vestas China, has also just been appointed as the company’s CEO.
FloDesign claims that its turbines are 3-4 times more efficient than traditional open-fan turbines. They have several other beneficial features as well that help economically, environmentally, and in other ways.
Reportedly, FloDesign is “aiming to transform itself from a research and development organisation into a mainstream renewables firm.”
The company claims that its technology, “which forces air through a small hole to create a pressure differential,” has garnered the support of prominent venture investors because of its true potential and efficiency, according to Tom Young of BusinessGreen.
Major venture capital investor Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers led this funding round, and “was joined by a syndicate of three new high-profile investors: a Goldman Sachs managed investment fund, Technology Partners and VantagePoint Venture Partners.” Additionally, the US Department of Energy (DOE) recently awarded FloDesign an $8.3 million grant.
The FloDesign wind turbines require much smaller blades and are much easier to manufacture and ship (see video above). Additionally, they can be placed much closer together than traditional wind turbines and they align themselves with the wind like a kite on a string. These are a few of the technology’s unique benefits.
Wind power has been the fastest growing source of energy (renewable or otherwise) recently, but if this technology is as good as FloDesign says, perhaps we will see a much bigger boom in the years to come.
Image Credit: Johnny Vulkan via flickr under a CC license