Revolutionary Vertical Axis Micro Wind Turbine with Dynamic Blade Pitching for Space-Constrained Urban Environments
Moble Benedict * Inderjit Chopra † Alfred Gessow Rotorcraft Center, University of Maryland, College Park, MD, 20742 Vinod Lakshminarayan ‡ Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Stanford University, CA, 94035
With increasing energy costs, rapid depletion of fossil fuels and growing concerns about the environmental effects of burning hydrocarbons, researchers have been looking at alternate more environmentally benign sources of creating power. Wind power, a renewable and virtually inexhaustible power source, is a promising means of green energy production. Currently, wind power is not in wide use and accounts for the production of only 1% of energy used world-wide. However, wind power generation nearly quadrupled in the last decade with the top producers being Germany, Spain and the U.S. In Holland, wind supplies 20 percent of the nation’s energy, the highest percentage of any country. Also, costs for wind power produced have fallen from $.30/kWh in the early 1980’s to the current cost of $.05/kWh .
Fig. 1 Horizontal Axis Wind Turbine (HAWT).
Fig. 2 Vertical Axis Wind Turbine (VAWT).
There are predominantly two classes of wind turbines, Horizontal Axis Wind Turbines (HAWTs) and Vertical Axis Wind Turbines (VAWTs), based on the orientation of their axis of rotation (Figs. 1 and 2). However, at present, horizontal axis wind turbines are the most established method of harvesting wind energy and most of the wind energy plants are in the form of wind mill farms of several Mega-Watt capacity, comprising of large horizontal axis wind mills (rated for several 100 kWs) driving electric generators and feeding into power supply grids. These installations are usually located far away from urban areas and the performance of these systems
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