25 Oct '11, 3pm

Wind turbine with Inspector Gadget arms makes twice the power

A simple new idea in wind turbines could increase their power production by 100 percent over the course of a year, and even make it possible to put turbines in places where they were uneconomical before. By giving turbines blades that extend -- longer for lower speed winds, shorter for faster winds -- researcher Rajnish Sharma, of the University of Auckland in New Zealand, has found a way to allow them to take advantage of a wider range of wind speeds. The variability of wind speeds mean that wind turbine design is a compromise between making blades long enough to catch lower speed winds, and making them short enough to survive in high-speed winds before they have to be shut down to keep from flying apart. A turbine that adapts between these extremes captures so much more power that Sharma estimates these more-complicated turbines would pay for themselves even if they cost...

Full article: http://www.grist.org/list/2011-10-25-wind-turbine-with-in...

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today,

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