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Wind Power

Max Robson with the low-cost turbine

A student from the University of Portsmouth in the UK has created a wind turbine made totally from recycled matter. Aimed at servicing the renewable energy needs of some of the word’s poorest countries, the low cost wind turbine is designed to be built by unskilled workers in less than a day using locally sourced scrap materials.  Read More

Burj Al-Taqa: self-sufficient skyscraper design

This concept eco-skyscraper from German-based architects Gerber Architekten combines traditional building ventilation techniques with the ability to generate 100% of its energy needs using wind and solar power. And the likely location for the "Burj Al-Taqa" or "Energy Tower” - you guessed it - Dubai.  Read More

Plans unveiled for 2.3MW offshore floating wind turbine
 Photo: StatoilHydro

The world desperately needs viable sources of renewable energy and wind power is among the most promising solutions, but one downside is that turbines can be considered a blight on otherwise picturesque landscapes. The solution seems obvious enough - move the towers far out to sea where not only are they out of sight, but where the wind is at its strongest and most consistent. We first encountered this idea back in 2006 when we examined the efforts of MIT researchers to integrate a turbine with a floating platform similar to those used by offshore oil rigs. Now news that Norwegian oil and gas company StatoilHydro plans to invest around US$80 million to build a full scale offshore floating wind turbine.  Read More

Wind farm project

May 15, 2008 Texas based engineering and construction giant Fluor Corporation has been engaged to to design and construct the 500 megawatt (MW) Greater Gabbard Offshore Wind Farm.  Read More

AeroVironment awarded patents for wind-power system

April 14, 2008 A name familiar to Gizmag readers through its achievements in the field of Unmanned Aircraft Systems, AeroVironment is also a developer of efficient electric energy systems, an area in which it has been awarded a series of patents relating to its "Architectural Wind® Building-Integrated Energy Generation System" - a system which takes a new approach to harnessing wind power using low-profile turbines designed to maximize electricity generation by taking advantage of the way wind flows over certain types of buildings.  Read More

Bumpy whale fins set to spark a revolution in aerodynamics

March 21, 2008 It seems despite man's endless ingenuity and the incredible modeling power available to inventors through CAD systems, we keep looking to nature to find ever more effective ways of doing things. Millions of years of evolution's trial and error approach have resulted in some incredibly effective designs that are ready to be incorporated into human constructions if we can only identify, understand and replicate them. The random-looking bumps on the humpback whale's flippers have just inspired a breakthrough in aerodynamic design that seems likely to dramatically increase the efficiency and performance of wind turbines, fans, flippers and even wings and airfoils. WhalePower's tubercle technology seems like nothing less than a revolution in fluid dynamics.  Read More

SCE begins Tehachapi Renewable Transmission Project
 Image: SCE

March 12, 2008 Generating power from clean energy sources is one thing, but green energy still needs to find its way to the consumer. In a boost for the State's wind power transmission infrastructure, California’s biggest electric utility Southern California Edison (SCE), has begun construction of the largest project of its type in the United States. Once complete, the project will have the capacity to transmit 4,500 megawatts of electricity from wind farms and other generating companies in the State.  Read More

Energy Island sketch

January 29, 2008 Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion uses the temperature difference between surface and deep-sea water to generate electricity – and though it has an efficiency of just 1-3% - researchers believe an OTEC power plant could deliver up to 250MW of clean power, equivalent to one eighth of a large nuclear power plant, or one quarter of an average fossil fuel power plant. Architect and engineer Dominic Michaelis and his son Alex, along with Trevor Cooper-Chadwick of Southampton University are developing the concept with plans of putting the theory to the test on an unprecedented scale by building a floating, hexagonal Energy Island that will harness energy from OTEC, as well as from winds, sea currents, waves, and the sun.  Read More

The planned 120-megawatt Stantonwind farm will use GE 1.5sle turbines like the one picture...

November 7, 2007 Known for oil and gas production, Texas seems an unlikely leader in the field of wind power. Construction has begun on the new Stanton Wind farm in Texas, USA that will employ 80 1.5-megawatt wind turbines and commence operation by April 2008.  Read More

Magnetic Levitation wind power generator

July 31, 2007 Sustainable generation of electric power is the key to realizing the vision of a world free from dependency on fossil fuels – the challenge is to ramp up the production of electricity to a level that can begin to approach the energy we get from burning coal and oil, without the perceived dangers of going nuclear. The combined threats of Peak Oil and global warming are spurring science into a furious new age of innovation. With almost daily breakthroughs in solar energy capture, battery technology and tidal energy harvesting, but the biggest contribution to green power thus far is coming from wind farming. The common windmill design used to capitalize on air currents, while centuries old, operates at around 1% efficiency in terms of the power it harvests from the wind, due to the deflective blade design and friction losses. But a new technology unveiled last year in China seeks to dramatically boost the output of wind-driven generators by using the virtually frictionless advantages of magnetically levitated turbines. Since there’s virtually no touching of moving parts, the Maglev wind turbine requires far less servicing than a traditional windmill – which dramatically lowers the operating costs to under five U.S. cents per kilowatt-hour. If projections are accurate, giant 1-gigawatt versions of these machines could have a 12-month ROI - a scenario sure to catch the eye of investors worldwide.  Read More

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