Clean Power wind turbine cleveland indians stadium

Published on April 13th, 2012 | by Zachary Shahan


Corkscrew Wind Turbine Now Powering Cleveland Indians Stadium

April 13th, 2012 by  

wind turbine cleveland indians stadium

This is an interesting one. A newly patented ‘corkscrew’ wind turbine designed by Cleveland State University (CSU) mechanical engineering professor Dr. Majid Rashidi is now helping to power the Cleveland Indians’ stadium. It was put in place about one week ago.

What’s up with the corkscrew design? I’ll let Dr. Rashidi explain:

“The easiest way to explain it is this: there are two wind turbines hanging on both sides of the spiral,” Dr. Rashidi says. “When air passes by the spiral, it gently deflects the wind towards the turbines to power them. If the spiral were not there, the air molecules would typically miss the turbines entirely.”

And this isn’t the Cleveland Indians’ first groundbreaking renewable energy project. The Indians was also the first Major League Baseball (MLB) team to incorporate solar panels into its stadium design, which it did back in 2007.

Clean Energy Can Create Jobs

Of course, this new technology being homegrown, the team, the local community, and Dr. Rashidi hope it’s a sign of economic growth to come.

“The kind of expertise we have in Northeastern Ohio can bring manufacturing back,” Dr. Rashidi says. “It helps the economy by thinking outside the box, trying to do something bold and creating something that no one has thought of yet.”

After being designed at CSU, the wind turbine was actually manufactured and installed by regional companies.

“I absolutely see Cleveland as a potential center for wind-energy technology,” Rashidi says. “This is truly a Cleveland product.”

Cleveland’s Wind Power Roots & Innovations

Interestingly, Cleveland’s got some deep wind power roots. Back in 1888, Charles Brush reportedly developed the first wind turbine designed for energy generation. He did so at his Euclid Avenue house in Cleveland.

Dr. Rashidi actually has two patented wind turbines now. The other is located on top of CSU’s Plant Services Building. That wind turbine is similar but uses a cylindrical rather than corkscrew/spiral shape in order to capture and deflect wind. Dr. Rashidi and his team will be monitoring the performance of both to see how they compare.

While the new corkscrew wind turbine, projected to generate 25,000 kilowatt hours of electricity per year, isn’t expected to make a huge dent in the stadium’s need for power from other sources, that’s not its main purpose.

“It is an educational statement for the younger generation,” Dr. Rashidi says. “What the ballpark is doing is to have kids from elementary school through high school see that we are being innovative and trying to design something that can have an impact on the economy around the country.” CSU president Ronald M. Berkman has focused on the project’s “engaged learning” aspect, as in the fact that the research project actually has a real-world application. Several master’s students helped to design the wind turbine.

If this demonstration project goes well, the hope is that they can improve the design of the turbine to make manufacturing it cheaper.

“One of the aspects I have claimed in our patents is that we can make the corkscrew as a large, inflatable balloon and secure it with bungee chords,” he says. “The only thing the spiral does is deflect wind, so it doesn’t need to be heavy. I want to figure out how to make the spiral lighter and at a lesser cost.”

Interestingly, the opening game the wind turbine was installed at ended up being the longest opening-day game in MLB history. Unfortunately, for the locals, Cleveland lost.

Source: USA TODAY College
Image Credit: Cleveland State University

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About the Author

is tryin' to help society help itself (and other species) with the power of the typed word. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor, but he's also the president of Important Media and the director/founder of EV Obsession, Solar Love, and Bikocity. Zach is recognized globally as a solar energy, electric car, and energy storage expert. Zach has long-term investments in TSLA, FSLR, SPWR, SEDG, & ABB — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in these particular companies and feels like they are good cleantech companies to invest in.

  • Wouldn’t this be safer for birds, too?

  • Pingback: Korkenzieher-Windrad soll Windenergie effizienter nutzen - GIZMODO DE - Das Gadget-Weblog()

  • Guess

    The system will have an average power of 3kW. Assuming a production factor of 25% the nameplate power will be around 12 kW. It is difficult to estimate the size of the corkscrew tower, but I guess it will be at least 30 meters high. On a mast of that size you could easily put a conventional wind turbine of 200 kW nameplate power.

  • Pingback: The Cleveland Corkscrew Will Help Power The Indians’ Next Losing Season | Gizmodo Australia()

  • vasant kale narahar

    pl give comprisan of efficiency of pillar mounted & corkscrew method

    give details

  • John Wagner

    Any new articles on VAWT systems coming up???

  • Seamus Dubh

    Ya I understand that this project isn’t going HUGH dent and isn’t the point of the project.
    But this thing only produces 3Kw per hour.

    • lukealization

      3kW per hour?! I didn’t know it had a ramp up speed!

      A kW is a measure of instantaneous power, literally Joules per second, or volts multiplied by amps

      A kWh is a measure of total power used – if something uses 3kW for an hour, it uses 3kWh of electricity. I think this is what you mean?

      kW/h (kilowatt per hour) is not very common, but you could measure how fast a power plant starts generating using such a metric. (i.e. “This plant has a ramp up speed of 3kW per hour”).

      Could you explain what you mean a bit more?

      • Seamus Dubh

        Yes, I DO know the difference.
        It was simple mistake, predicated by the information provided in the article:

        “projected to generate 25,000 kilowatt hours of electricity per year”

  • SkyLion

    im thinking of putting a biggest fan i can get and put it on the roof facing my wind turbine since the wind doesnt blow all the time but this is all in my head..will it work??

    • lukealization

      Conservation of energy says no. Perpetual motion machines don’t exist… as energy is always lost due to less than 100% efficiency energy transfer EVERYTHING has.

      So no, putting a fan to blow a wind turbine can generate energy, but it will generate less energy than you input into the system. It’s like the idea of putting a solar cell under a lightbulb – it doesn’t work. 🙂

      In the best theoretical case scenario, you can break even: P(input) = P(output)

      But in reality: P(input) > P(output)

      • Mikegeo

        What if it was a solar powered fan?

  • SkyLion

    can we harness an energy from electric fan wind?

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