A winds turbine is a device that converts kinetic energy from wind into mechanical energy. Early turbines used mechanical energy to drive machinery that allowed farmers to water and process plants more efficiently. These devices were called windmills or wind pumps.
Wind turbines were first developed around the year 1000 in Asia to pump and distribute water from wells and to grind harvested grain. Theses wind pumps were vertical axis turbines imagine a merry-go-round with wind-catching sails instead of horses.
Around the 1300s, the first windmills began to appear in Europe. These windmills were much more like the ones associated with Holland horizontal axis turbines that used the mechanical principles of a water wheel. This design was more efficient, and the Europeans improved on it further by using better fins inspired by ship sails to catch the wind.
Windmills are still in use today and remain a national symbol of Holland, but today’s more advanced wind turbines produce electricity. The wind moves the turbine’s blades, which transfer energy through a central hub to a generator. The generator converts this mechanical energy into electrical energy that is then delivered to the power grid. Smaller wind generators can charge batteries (stored electricity for later use) or provide auxiliary power for many applications, including sailing boats.
In the United States, utility companies understand the potential of harnessing the wind to create electricity for their customers. According to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), Nearly 900 utility-scale wind projects which represent over 60,000 megawatts are installed across 39 U.S. states and Puerto Rico. There are also 559 wind manufacturing facilities spread across 44 states.
This same technology is available on a smaller scale to provide electricity to small businesses and homes like yours Green Power Works, Inc. can install small wind turbines virtually anywhere. The wind turbines can produce electricity even in low wind-speed environments, so they are great for remote locations. With battery storage, they can even provide you with power during a power outage, such as in a storm. A wind turbine will significantly lower your electric bill in the long term, and can protect you from utility outages during storms or other disasters.
The Zephyr Company offers a line of small horizontal axis wind turbines called Airdolphins. As the name implies, dolphins inspired engineers to model the tail of the turbine after the fin of a dolphin. Dolphins are able to quickly change direction. The unique flexible tail system allows the wind turbine to react faster to even the slightest changes in wind direction to maximize fin efficiency, which increases energy production.
A dolphin fin was not the only nature-inspired element in the Airdolphin design. Whales, the great divers of the deep, were the inspiration for the body of the Airdolphin. The design reduces drag and channels air towards the tail. The Airdolphin utilizes hyper-light carbon fiber fins modeled after the wings of an owl that uses silent flight to hunt prey at night. Special grooves and a low friction coating on the fins break up the wind buffeting that causes the noise associated with most wind turbines.
Zephyr’s engineers also used the technology of the Japanese puzzle box to design the turbine body, gins, and tail. The technology allows all of the parts to lock together and keep each other in place, eliminating the need for screws that can become weak spots when exposed to weather.
Most wind turbines can only operate within a certain range of wind speeds. It the wind is not blowing quickly enough to turn the fins from a dead stop, the turbine will not produce electricity. If the wind is blowing too fast, the turbine will shut down to protect itself from overloading. The Airdolphin solves these problems with an intelligent energy management system. The Airdolphin uses a small amount of power to rotate its fins 10 times per minute to allow power generation from even the slightest breezes. When wind speeds exceed 40mph, instead of shutting down, the Airdolphin continues to produce electricity, but scales down production to 60% to protect from overloading the generator. The Airdolphin can produce up to 4kW in extreme wind speeds, but is rate at 1.1 kW at 28mph.
The Airdolphin has a remote wireless monitoring system so you can see how much electricity you turbine is producing from inside your house.
The Airdolphin can turn wind into savings. This compact wind turbine generator is one of the most efficient in the world and incorporates the latest technology in the small-scale renewable energy industry.