VAWTs Promise to Radically Increase the Output of 20% of Wind Farms

Arrays of vertical axis wind turbines (VAWTs) and the science of their placement among traditional wind turbines (HAWTs) will become powerful tools in our collective efforts to slow global warming and reduce the impacts of climate change.

Wind Harvest International's new G168 VAWT is the first turbine in a generation that can operate well in the highly turbulent near-ground winds speeding through passes or over ridge lines and hills. We believe our VAWTs will stimulate HAWT manufacturers to start making VAWTs. They will not want to be left out of  the  100,000+ MWs market estimated to exist in wind farms with  good to excellent winds at 10-20m above ground level.

WHI's  placement patents will allow VAWTs to be installed closer together under and around HAWTs. Some of these VAWT placements can increase the energy output of the taller wind turbines. The science and modeling are just beginning on how this can be done in all the different types of topographies that exist in wind farms.

VAWTs, with WHI's G168 in the lead, will soon enter the world markets for wind turbines. Here's why:

  • Advances in Technology. The aeroelastic modeling needed to properly engineer VAWTs has been validated with field data. WHI has used this computer modeling capability and validating data from its prototypes so that its soon-to-be-certified turbine will have the same fatigue life as HAWTs.
  • Physics Favors VAWTs. The science is in. Placing VAWTs in arrays creates the “coupled vortex effect,” which can increase their efficiencies (Cp max) to the levels of modern HAWTs.
  • Smarter Wind Energy: Use the Best Land Better. Field research and modeling have begun that will allow VAWTs to be safely placed around HAWTs and in positions that can synergistically increase the energy output of both types of wind turbines.
  • Wildlife Friendly. Many wildlife experts hypothesize that both birds and bats will detect and avoid three-dimensional VAWTs better than they do two-dimensional HAWTs. If not, motion detection and avoidance technologies can be installed.

Because VAWTs can double or more the energy output of high-value land, are less expensive to transport, install and maintain, and because their efficiencies in arrays can be as high as traditional turbines, they will become a major factor in the wind industry's future growth.

In the process, VAWT technology will play an important role in the  worldwide efforts to radically increase the amount of renewable energy produced and stop the burning of fossil fuels.

The founding of the Wind Harvest Company is an interesting story we encourage you to read in the About Us - History section. On the left in this photo is Sam Francis, internationally renowned painter. George Wagner, the attorney and environmental activist is in the middle. Smiling on the right is Bob Thomas, aeronautical engineer and inventor. The year is 1985.  The location is the Windstar 480 VAWT project site in Concord, Calif.

News and Updates

Dramatically increase wind farm output while protecting wildlife
Paper being prepared for peer review (updated 16 January 2018)

Energy Generation from Onshore Wind Turbines
Drawdown, 2017

First Medium-Sized Vertical Axis Wind Turbine Ready for Certification
Wind Harvest International Press Release, 15 May 2017

Recently Added Papers

Benefits of collocating vertical-axis and horizontal-axis wind turbines in large wind farms
Shengbai Xie, Cristina L. Archer, Niranjan Ghaisas and Charles Meneveau, April 1, 2016, Wind Energy

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