Conventional wisdom always tells us that larger wind farms are more efficient, but as wind power becomes a larger component of the global energy mix, building ever larger turbines could prove prohibitively expensive. .

Halo Energy has developed a small, encapsulated wind turbine that provides efficient small-scale power generation, which could improve the performance of wind power around the world.

We’re very excited because just like megawatt wind power is a big market, I think distributed wind can be just as big or bigger over time.

Halos Charlie Karustis.

Renewable energies represent a growing share of the global energy mix, with wind power leading the way. The EU’s statistical office, Eurostat, reported in 2017 that wind power accounts for 30.7% of gross energy consumption in the EU, more than any other renewable energy source, and that the installed wind capacity worldwide increased from 435,284 MW in 2015 to 596,556 MW in 2018, an increase of 28%.

Much of this success has been achieved with large turbines, those that produce more than 100 kW, and which are normally installed in large generating fleets. A guiding principle behind the growth of wind power is that taller turbines with larger blades are more efficient, producing more power for the same price, which has encouraged manufacturers to produce more and more turbines. large; for example, Lockheed Martin designed a gigantic 50 MW turbine with blades 200 meters long.

However, building larger and larger turbines requires greater investment both economically and logistically, whose turbines can only be productive in windy areas, making some turbines simply too large to operate in some. regions of the world.

Distributed wind power has emerged as a solution to this problem. Defined as a wind turbine producing less than 100 KW, these small turbines can be deployed in a wider variety of locations, allowing anyone to generate their own wind power.

One of its main promoters is Halo Energy, which has developed a 6 KW turbine. Measuring just 3.65 meters in diameter, it could help resolve the wind industry’s imbalance between utility-scale and distributed operations.

A covered and more efficient turbine.

The Halo turbine maximizes its efficiency despite its limited size due to the static covers built around the three rotating blades, which create a fixed perimeter around the edge of the rotor sweep area, the space where the blades rotate, effectively increasing the speed of the wind of the air passing through the blades.

If the wind turbine sees an ambient wind of five meters per second (m / s), what is really happening is that the blades see a wind speed of around 10-12 m / s.

Charlie Karustis, Business Development Manager at Halo.

The result is a turbine with twice the power of uncovered turbines of the same size, with half the size of conventional turbines of the same power.

Static blankets also help overcome a key limitation of smaller scale turbines, that of blade tip losses. This is the air diverted by the blades out of the rotor sweep area and not converted into electricity; While this is less of a problem in large scale turbines due to the greater amount of power produced, if a distributed turbine has a maximum power of only 6 KW, just like the Halo turbine, these losses can be significant.


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