Photokina 2014 highlights

Wind

Risoe DTU's wind turbine blade section being tested in a wind tunnel

If you’ve ever seen a commercial-scale wind turbine in real life, then you’ll know that they’re huge – a single blade can be as long as 60 meters (197 feet). Researchers from Denmark’s Risoe DTU National Laboratory for Sustainable Energy tell us that such blades can flex by up to six meters (20 feet) when subjected to strong wind gusts. Worse yet, the gust load is often not evenly distributed along the length of the blade, so it doesn’t flex evenly. Fortunately, the researchers are working on addressing this problem, by attaching flexible flaps to the trailing edges of the blades. These flaps come in the form of silicone rubber strips, which run the length of the blade. The result, we’re told, will be quieter, higher-output turbines.  Read More

The Sway wind turbines bob in the water like partially filled bottles

The world’s biggest wind turbine will be constructed in Norway. The prototype turbine will stand 162 meters (533 feet) tall and feature a rotor diameter of 145 meters (475 feet). It is expected to be capable of generating 10-megawatts – enough to power 2,000 homes. The turbine will be tested on land in Øygarden in Hordaland County, Norway, for two years but is intended for offshore placement, where the winds are stronger and more consistent, and the concerns of ruined views and vibrations are removed.  Read More

Catch the Wind's Racer's Edge laser wind sensor tool.

Imagine you're a competitive sailboat racer, about to go into the richest and most storied of all sailing races with a squillion-dollar boat and a razor-sharp crew. Now imagine somebody hands you a device that can quite literally map out the wind activity up to a kilometre out in front of you, showing wind speed, direction and turbulence - and giving you the almost superatural ability to adjust your sails and take maximal advantage of a wind pattern before you even reach it. It's almost an unfair advantage, isn't it? Well, this is the situation that BMW Oracle Racing's Russell Coutts finds himself in as the team gears up to take on defending champions Alinghi in the 2010 America's Cup. The device is called a Racer's Edge laser wind sensor, and it's built around a technology base that's being used to optimise wind power generators. We caught up with Phil Rogers, CEO of Catch the Wind, Inc, to find out more.  Read More

Ecomodder.com's Darin Cosgrove recently added this 1.37 tailpeice to his Pontiac Firefly t...

While windtunnels have long been employed in aerospace and all forms of race engineering, we’re likely to see them employed more frequently in future in the quest for improved fuel efficiency from our automobiles. Ecomodder.com’s Darin Cosgrove recently added this 1.37 tailpiece to his Pontiac Firefly to improve its drag coefficient from 0.34 to 0.23 and its fuel efficiency by 15.1 percent at 90kmh (56mph).  Read More

The Blunt Umbrella boasts improved strength, durability, stability and is safer than tradi...

Umbrellas have been around for thousands of years but, aside from the introduction of the collapsible umbrella in 1935, their design has remained largely unchanged - despite the well known design flaws that see them flip inside out in strong winds or threaten to take out an eye with their pointy rib tips. It was this threat to his eyeballs as he negotiated busy London streets in wet weather that set 1.9 m tall New Zealand designer Greig Brebner on a mission to design a better umbrella – a goal he believes he has achieved with the Blunt Umbrella.  Read More

The boat tail mounted on the rear of the test truck

European tests have shown that a boat tail – a tapering protrusion mounted on the rear of a truck – leads to fuel savings of 7.5 percent. The fuel savings, which also means a cut in emissions, were realized by the boat tail dramatically reducing the drag caused by the lower-pressure effect that occurs in the wake of a vehicle.  Read More

A prototype of the 'stealth' blade developed by QinetiQ and Vestas is fitted onto a Vestas...

Plans for the installation of wind farms the world over are being delayed or abandoned due to objections from the aviation community or air defense interests. The problem is that when it comes to low flying aircraft or wind turbines, conventional radar has a bit of an identity crisis - not being able to tell the difference. Recent tests in the UK of "stealth" turbine technology could provide a solution.  Read More

Baryonyx will use both on and offshore wind farms as its main source of power

The push for more dedicated use of renewable energies has been given a boost recently by Texas startup Baryonyx Corp, which has successfully procured the lease for what will be the largest offshore wind concessions in the USA. A total of 8,000 acres of land in Dallam County and 38,000 acres in the Gulf of Mexico will power ‘Tier4’ data centers by generating a potential 3GW of energy.  Read More

A rendering showing what the street lights might look like in a typical urban street. With...

It provides light where there is darkness, it gives a sense of safety and security, but it's also a power leech. The humble street light. Thankfully, the move away from the grid is already well underway with companies like Urban Green Energy busy transforming these familiar towers of light into self sufficient beacons that harness the power of the elements - in this case, it's a hybrid solution that uses both the wind and the sun.  Read More

The word Almeisan is the Arabic name for one of the brightest stars in the sky, located in...

Dubai conjures up BIG images; not just the tallest structures, although it currently holds that crown, but also big as in flamboyant, lavish and generally larger than life. Amidst the opulence, extravagance and seemingly limitless budgets – or perhaps because of the latter – Dubai is increasingly embracing its green side. The latest building designed for the city to cross our desk has a foot squarely in both camps - the Almeisan Tower combines a delicate, soaring structure with a 600kW solar tower and passive cooling systems claimed to be almost "triple zero", which means it has zero emissions, zero energy requirements and zero waste.  Read More

Looking for something? Search our 28,548 articles