Credit: FloDesign Wind Turbine
FloDesign Wind Turbine, has developed a wind turbine that could generate electricity at half the cost of conventional turbines.
The company recently raised $6 million in its first round of venture financing and has announced partnerships with wind-farm developers.
The company's design, which draws on technology developed for jet engines, circumvents a fundamental limit to conventional wind turbines.
Video by FloDesign Wind Turbine
Typically, as wind approaches a turbine, almost half of the air is forced around the blades rather than through them, and the energy in that deflected wind is lost. At best, traditional wind turbines capture only 59.3 percent of the energy in wind, a value called the Betz limit.
FloDesign surrounds its wind-turbine blades with a shroud that directs air through the blades and speeds it up, which increases power production. The new design generates as much power as a conventional wind turbine with blades twice as big in diameter. The smaller blade size and other factors allow the new turbines to be packed closer together than conventional turbines, increasing the amount of power that can be generated per acre of land. READ MORE »