Wow...but 600% is not from a reliable source
10th May, 2013 @ 6:46 a.m. (California Time)
I think this is way better than the normal wind turbines; assuming it does what they say it does. I can see it being safer for birds since the traditional wind turbines have that problem of 'whacking' flying feathered creatures.
10th May, 2013 @ 6:54 a.m. (California Time)
Okay, this tech gets hits on at least four of my questions that trigger red flags about bogus wind tech. Like many people who pay attention to wind energy, I'm getting tired of claims like this being taken even moderately credulously.
10th May, 2013 @ 7:46 a.m. (California Time)
This screams bogus science.
A standard commercial windmill is roughly 40% efficient (the theoretical maximum is around 60%). If this claims that it its 300% + more efficient than that it is 120% efficient, generating 20% more power than was in the wind. Magic! Or bad science.
Also this canard about generating power from lower windspeeds is also nonsense. The amount of power available in winds below 5mph is not worth harvesting. Wind power increases with the cube of the wind speed. In other words: doubling the wind speed gives eight times the wind power. So the power difference between 5 and 10 mph winds is 800%! It makes sense to optimize for higher windspeeds, because 1 hour of 10mph is worth 8 hours of 5mph and 64 hours at 2.5mph and 512 hours at 1.25mph.
Finally, a windmill can only extract energy from the wind that contacts it, so to get the same amount of power as a 20' diameter windmill rotor, you would need a "funnel" of equivalent size. It is hard to imagine the economics of making giant massive funnels is going to be better than a slender tower and a few slender blades.
10th May, 2013 @ 11:04 a.m. (California Time)
Michaelc, that which we can't see might hold the answers. We can't see the turbines themselves or where the venturi inlets go. Stacked turbines, each with its own supply of air compressed as it enters the inlets, might be able to achieve the stated efficiency,
10th May, 2013 @ 12:42 p.m. (California Time)
As others have said its likely bogus or bad data, but i'm holding out hope that its real or even if the data is abit off that its still an approvment. Even if its the same as others but cheaper it would still be good.
I think its a common reaction when something that comes along that seems to good to be true, that it normaly is.
But sometimes not.
To the person who said that for it to correct there would have to be 20% more energy than whats in the wind, doesn't account for how this device uses a funnel to bring wind from a much larger area and increases the wind speed, which as he states himself multiplies the energy collected. Not saying that makes the original article right, only that i think there is room for this to theoretically be possible.
We will have to watch this and see.
10th May, 2013 @ 12:58 p.m. (California Time)
It is a mistake to use the same sized turbine for the comparison. A proper comparison would match the effective inlet area of the duct at the top of the Invelox tower to a conventional wind turbine's inlet area.
It is also a mistake to use the exact same turbine blades. The concentrated wind speed is higher than the free stream wind speed and properly designed turbines will have an airfoil shape that has been designed optimally for the average wind speed. Since the average wind speed is different in a conventional turbine vs. a concentrating turbine like Invelox, you cannot use the same exact airfoil for comparison.
These mistakes would be acceptable at an eighth grade science fair, but where investor dollars are at stake it feels downright criminal.
11th May, 2013 @ 8:03 a.m. (California Time)
That someone would try to trash this idea sight unseen makes you wonder about their true motives. Looks like a great idea to me, even if it's the same efficiency.
11th May, 2013 @ 12:36 p.m. (California Time)
As it says in the article these figures need to be treated with caution. But a couple of ideas occur to me. One of the reasons it may be difficult to generate power from low wind speeds is inertia of the entire system needs to be overcome, and losses to turbulence might be more than can be generated at low speeds. But from looking at the photos, it could be that with the funnel design will increase the wind VELOCITY while not necessarily increasing the total volume of air passing through the system. It could be similar to exchanging volts for amps in electricity, where the same amount of power can be utilised in different ways. 12 volts won't jump a gap in a spark plug, but if the voltage is multiplied many times, the same amount of POWER can be used to make a spark.
Secondly, since the blades of the actual rotor would be smaller than a traditional wind turbine of equal surface area of capture, the lack of mass would mean that again, inertia would consume less of the windpower. Thus it may be theoretically possible to generate more power from the same amount of wind.
Thirdly, whilst the mouth(s) of the funnels don't move, this would mean that on "back" side of the turbine head there may be a reduction in air pressure, a vortex, which theoretically could be used to generate power by using a second generator which runs in reverse. Crudely, it might use "suck" wind instead of "blow" wind.
Whilst I treat the 600%, or even 300% figures with caution, I'll say that this device may have more going for it than appears at first glance. I'll wait and see.
11th May, 2013 @ 5:51 p.m. (California Time)
I live in a "Low Wind" country. This method of funneling the wind so that low wind speed can also be used to drive generators means that there is much more generating time available. I like it.
12th May, 2013 @ 7:13 p.m. (California Time)
Hmmm..... a spokesperson for this company refers to wind turbines as "windmills"? No - that's a definite "red flag" - set B.S. filters to maximum, captain.
13th May, 2013 @ 4:17 a.m. (California Time)
Remember the PC Game, Dune 2?
13th May, 2013 @ 5:54 a.m. (California Time)
This needs an independent testing lab to do comparison studies.
13th May, 2013 @ 9:44 a.m. (California Time)
As a spokesmen for raptors, take down those blades Mr. Gorbachev.
The wind turbines described can be erected anywhere the wind blows and the sun don't shine. But the grid will be an ugly memory, time to get energy independent before the birds declare war on those who supply the grid.
Dear energy managers it was nice knowing you, past tense imperative.
13th May, 2013 @ 11:14 a.m. (California Time)
From a structural standpoint I think the framework is kind of funky, but a commerical unit could easily be adapted from an old water tower either as a retrofit (maybe) or as new construction. It does have the benefit of gathering the wind high, and having the generator on the ground where it is easier to service. That, by the way, is HUGE. Sure, a claim of 600% gain is suspect, but that is admittedly the top of the range, with 81% being the low. There may be some potential here, and it will be interesting to see how it scales up.
Bruce H. Anderson
13th May, 2013 @ 11:34 a.m. (California Time)
The thing to do is to forget about these claims of X% increase in efficiency stuff where you basically see claims of apples being compared to oranges. These are VERY different means of capturing the energy of the wind, so there's no single, accurate way to measure the efficiency of either system. And you can't use some fiat currency unit as a base line due to the constantly downward drifting perceived purchasing power of the fiat currency(KWh per USD times T), but maybe you could use number of hours on line v. offline. Or barrels of oil not burned v. burned in making each system.
In other words, there are just too many factors that MUST be considered for any debate to take place on a rational level. Pepsi v. Coke, Ford v. Chevy, etc. ad infinitum is all that this is. The market will decide who lives and who dies.
13th May, 2013 @ 12:50 p.m. (California Time)
b@man wonders about the true motives of the detractors... he'd better wonder about the hidden motives of the promoters!
To me, this looks very much like Big Oil seeking to cast doubt among potential investors in top performing HAWT projects...
13th May, 2013 @ 12:57 p.m. (California Time)
I see very little about the generator, which I believe is the most important element to any wind generator. When I see variable flux magnetic fields, then I will be paying more attention.
13th May, 2013 @ 6:17 p.m. (California Time)
It's weird to come to a technology blog and see people so SO resistant to new technology. Since the standard three blade design is really only designed to be efficient at a narrow speed range, I can see this beating the pants off it at other speeds - certainly in places with nearly constant high wind speeds (like the Columbia Gorge) the old design will beat the pants off these - but just like you wouldn't put swamp truck tires on your Prius, I think this design has several potential uses: in urban areas, where blade hazards are a concern (and where these could turn into functional art) in tornado zones (where you want to be able to be able to protect sensitive parts, perhaps with a remote operated hatch) and in regions with gusty wind (like Colorado near the mountains) where you could capture energy before the angular momentum and drag of huge blades prevented it.
In addition, this opens the door to other turbine technologies, like more efficient (but hard to air mount) Tesla turbines. That's certainly a good thing.
13th May, 2013 @ 7:56 p.m. (California Time)
Hmmm...no one seems to have asked the question: "what happens if the wind is coming from the same direction as the turbine outlet? I'd imagine there would net zero pressure gradient between the "inlet" of the funnel and the "outlet" of the turbine...with the exception of may a minute amount due to the higher wind velocities at the inlet as it is farther from the ground. If this works it would be analogous to aiming a fan at your own sail to try to go faster.
13th May, 2013 @ 10:22 p.m. (California Time)
I saw some micro-turbines a few years ago, which were designed to be configurable into many different configurations. Each turbine (about 6" diameter) was only good for about 1W max
One benefit is that these tiny turbines had very low inertia etc, so they are more efficient at lower speeds.
But it was more about that you could do cool things with them ...
e.g. Create advertising billboard, using different coloured turbines as 'pixels'. A 10m by 10m board could hold 10 000 turbines for potentially 10kW power if aligned optimally.
e.g. fit them into air ventilation ducts within a building, etc, to harvest energy from air flowing through these ducts (e.g. escaping waste heat)
Haven't heard any more about them .... anyone else??
14th May, 2013 @ 4:04 a.m. (California Time)
I can see how it might generate 20% more power than the wind. With proper sails and technique, a sailboat can sail twice the speed of the wind, and Iceboats can typically sail at five times the speed of the wind. Could it be there is a bit of "sailboat" magic inside these devices? I think it's time SheerWind gave it's new machine to an independent agency for testing. We wouldn't want this to turn into another "Andrea Rossi" ("cold fusion device") fiasco, would we?
17th May, 2013 @ 3:31 a.m. (California Time)
Even if they can change Betz assumptions (stall or static wind pressure) and force hydrodynamic effects to come into play they are still in a surface area game (bigger is more...)
Like mounting an 'umbrella' mill turbine to the top of a pyramid making it unidirectional and partly solar convection driven - what assumptions have changed? The area of the turbine itself is small, but the 'windcatch' is large- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windcatcher
24th May, 2013 @ 7:21 a.m. (California Time)
Michaelc said it.
There are known physical limitations to these things. Its is simply lies. I am willing to bet $5000 that this thing will never see broad manufacturing - and no its not because of conspiracies.
1st August, 2013 @ 8:43 a.m. (California Time)
Michaelc, don't be such a pessimist..when comparing those one propellers on a stick to nuclear energy, is like swatting flies for the far right's "I don't don't see no Ice melting"....let's give all innovation a chance, in this time....we did in the 1970's when we created those 'one propellas on a stick...now we don't feel like creating anything else....???
16th January, 2014 @ 10 a.m. (California Time)
The Invelox is a very ineffective and very misleadingly represented wind generation device. Full analysis here:
Don't invest. Run away.
1st August, 2014 @ 1:50 a.m. (California Time)