For Utilities: Boosting Wind Power Unexpectedly

Many of today’s utilities have interests in existing wind farms, with capacity factors averaging 25%.  Many are facing interest as well as pressure from government and shareholders to enhance their renewable energy portfolio.  Many own high wind land, or options or leases on land with the idea of future investment.

Something Significant:  Capacity Factor Enhancement for Existing Farms

For existing wind farms, capacity factor enhancement can be significantly increased through a build out of the understory of existing farms, populating “the field” with rows of counter-rotating Vertical Axis Wind Turbines, arranged in a system to optimize WHI’s patented “coupled vortex effect.”

Professor John O. Dabiri’s research at CalTech, published in July 2011, suggested that there are additional energy possibilities when smaller vertical axis turbines(VAWTs) are placed below taller horizontal axis turbines(HAWTs).  This results in vertical kinetic energy or flux that enhances the efficiency of the HAWTs while also adding the additional power output from the smaller VAWTs.  Although more research is needed, this opportunity has been validated in smaller scale HAWT/VAWT field tests in California.

For many utilities around the world, these opportunities open doors.


New Options for New Large Wind Farms

For properties with high wind, (6.5m/sec at 10m from the ground) WHI Vertical Axis Wind Turbine Systems (WHI VAWT Systems) may be able to offer 2-4x as much energy from the site as prior expectations from conventional HAWTs, for example, from Siemens 2.3MW turbines.   The reason is simple:  vertical axis turbines are more efficient when placed CLOSELY together so that the land can host more, smaller turbines, that work as a system to enhance the total energy available from the field.

For many utilities around the world, these opportunities open doors.


Going Where Existing Wind Energy Technology Can’t Go

In addition, many utilities own property or could buy/lease property that has high wind resources but for one reason or another, they cannot get the property developed for the tall HAWTs.  WHI VAWT Systems are 18m tall, rather than 130m+ tall and in some high wind sites development is blocked because of radar interference/drones or community objections.  Generally, the lower profile VAWTs require less infrastructure to install and maintain.   WHI VAWT Systems have a lower footprint, are bird-friendly, and offer less risk to employees because of their low-tech design.

For many utilities around the world, these opportunities open doors