Wind turbine technology has certainly come a long way in the last 40 years. Many countries are adding wind energy to their power grid mix about as fast as they can install and connect them. We are now accustom to seeing the gigantic airplane propeller shapes that dot the landscape.
This is not the only kind of wind turbine design that is possible and feasible however. In the country of Iceland where typical wind turbines only last 3 years before they have to be replaced, some people are looking at these options.
A small team of entreprenuers have resurected an old design of a wind blade in a new design of a wind turbine. The design allows the blade to turn even at very low wind and to protect itself from tearing apart at very high winds. It is know as the Savonius vertical axis wind turbine.
This unit looks very cool in action and many people may mistake it for a wind chime or work of art. It seems well suited to the residential or small power requirement market as you will see from the working examples.
The company plans to start selling them soon and it will be interesting to see how the technology scales up to larger sizes and heights.
Enjoy the video.
Do you think this will be a commercial sucess in the end?
Hello World’s Ashlee Vance paid a recent visit to Iceland’s capital city of Reykjavik to see the next part of the green energy story. He found a start-up called Icewind that is building a new type of funky wind turbine designed to perform well in low-wind conditions but also to slow itself down in high-winds, preventing it from catching on fire or ripping apart.
Gordon's expertise in the area of industrial energy efficiency and alternative energy. He is an experienced electrical engineer with a Masters degree in Alternative Energy technology. He is the co-founder of several renewable energy media sites including Solar Thermal Magazine.