Capacity Factor Enhancement

A complementary technology, VAWT’s utility-scale can populate the understory of existing, conventional wind farms, building diversity and resilience, while increasing the capacity factor. By leveraging existing investment in infrastructure and transmission, a new yield for the developer is available.

WHI Turbine Design

Diversify:  Increase Return-on-Investment (ROI) for Existing Wind Farms

Building out complementary WHI turbine arrays, in spaces between existing HAWTs (as if there were hedge rows under taller trees), enables more production utilizing the same infrastructure and transmission at a higher percentage of their capacity.

These hedge rows of counter-rotating 18m high turbines, closely spaced a few meters or less apart, with 50-100m between the rows, enable the capacity factor to be significantly increased.  This can be accomplished at a competitive levelized cost of energy (LCOE).

Approximately 20% of today’s wind farms have the conditions needed to utilize WHI Vertical Axis Wind Turbine Systems (WHI VAWT Systems).  Where this path is aggressively pursued, a 25% site can be built out to a 30%+ site, or more, using WHI VAWT Systems. WHI is not merely selling turbines, rather it offers a system of turbine arrays within a larger HAWT system that optimizes its patented coupled vortex effect and the principle of power density.

Higher yield from under-utilized wind farms benefits the developer, the landowner, the purchasers seeking to buy renewable power for their portfolios, and the public interest.

How Does This Work?

Most wind farms achieve full capacity only about 5% of the time. The rest of the time, the VAWTs in the understory can add their energy to increase the Capacity Factor of the wind farm and the amount of energy exiting the wind farm through the existing transmission lines.

When the wind speed allows the HAWTs to reach their full capacity, the older HAWTs with maintenance and repair issues can rest while the VAWTs continue to operate. To determine the right percentage of VAWTs to add to the wind farm’s capacity, a study should be done on how much benefit HAWTs will realize by resting during high wind events and how often these events occur.

Case Story

Imagine a 100MW wind farm  of GE 1.5 MW turbines that currently achieves a 30% annual capacity factor.  This wind farm’s physical site and annual near-ground wind speed of 14MPH(7.5m/sec) allow a high impact Capacity Factor Enhancement project.

The management elects to build-out 20MW of WHI Turbine arrays on open land within the wind farm. The wind farm’s yield will increase from 260,000MWh/yr (30% capacity factor) to approximately 300,000MWh/yr, a 35% capacity factor after the WHI turbine installation.  Depending on the power purchase agreements in place, and the demand for renewable energy by utilities around the world, the return on investment will vary.  However, WHI VAWT Systems are cost-competitive with on-shore HAWT large turbines, and if the site meets the conditions, significant return-on-investment (ROI) for the complementary WHI VAWT Systems will benefit everyone involved.  Financing may be of interest to the landowner/lessor if the lease is based on a percentage of the total energy produced.

No new farm land needs to be secured, and no new infrastructure or transmission needs to be permitted, installed and financed.  Permitting agencies have lower concerns about visual blight, wildlife problems and access/road construction that would be needed if the same amount of additional power were to be procured through developing currently-open farmland.

Step into Building Out Capacity Factor

Existing wind farms, around the globe, have unique conditions.  Your wind farm may have the conditions necessary to capitalize on WHI’s VAWT Systems and bring more renewable energy on line.  The investment may be made in phases, bringing confidence and experience.  Capitalizing subsequent arrays may be easier with demonstrated increase in power production from the initial array.

Depending on the underlying ownership of the land, the lease payments may be a percentage of the total revenue generated by the wind farm.  If additional energy can be secured through Capacity Factor Enhancement with WHI VAWT Systems, the land owner would have an interest in supporting the development, either in permitting or financing.  In the United States, a standard lease yields the landowner 3% of the revenue generated.  3% of a significantly higher revenue lets the land owner “win twice” by a higher lease payment, and interest on the capital to build out the WHI Turbine System.