26 Jan 2009 05:01:03
Wind turbines 'need redesign'
A redesign of wind turbines so that they compress air rather than generate electricity directly is the proposal of a dynamics professor for best harnessing renewable resources.
Seamus Garvey, of the University of Nottingham is to tell the audience at a lecture at the University College Dublin that his redesigned turbine proposal would help Ireland make the most of its natural power which he claims could meet the countries entire energy demand several times over by 2050 and beyond.
Instead of the conventional three blades, professor Garvey's design for a integrated compressed air renewable energy systems (Icares) features four large blades and four shorter ones.
As the blades turn around the hub, pistons inside the blades move from the tip end to the hub end, depending on whether the blade is pointing up or down.
Their movement would compress air, some of which can be used instantly to generate electricity, while the rest can be stored for periods when there is low wind.
Writing in the Times Professor Garvey claims that his design overcomes the problem of the rising expense of making traditional wind turbines at sizes over 150-metres in diameter as a result of the increased torque they need to withstand.
He also claims that his proposals would generate power at lower prices.
An Icares with a 200-metre diameter turbine would generate 18MW at 40 per cent the cost of machines that turn blade movement directly into energy, he claims, with larger machines delivering greater cost savings.http://research.nottingham.ac.uk/NewsReviews/ExpertResult...