VAWTs Promise to Dramatically Increase the Output of 20% of Wind Farms
Arrays of vertical axis wind turbines (VAWTs) and the science of their placement among traditional, propeller type 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 (WHI) new Harvester VAWTs are the first turbine in a generation that are designed to maximize the rotor swept area and operate well in 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 10-25m above ground level.
WHI's placement patents allow VAWTs to be installed close together under and around HAWTs. Different VAWT placement arrangements can increase the energy output of the taller wind turbines. The science and modeling on how this this can be done most effectively in all the different types of topographies that exist in wind farm deserves funding and support.
VAWTs, with the WHI Harvesters 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 with the best near-ground wind resources and markets being developed first.
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.
WHI Harvester 70 (v1.0), Nordic Folkecenter, DK
News and Updates
Robert Thomas Obituary by WHI
24 April 2019
Robert Thomas Obituary
3 April 2019
2018 Innovators - Founders of the Wind Harvest Company
Windpower Engineering, April 2018
Augmenting Wind Farm Output with Vertical Axis Wind Turbines
WHI's ARPA-E 2018 FOA OPEN Concept Paper (12 February 2018)
Dramatically increase wind farm output while protecting wildlife protecting wildlife
Paper being prepared for peer review (updated 12 May 2018)
Energy Generation from Onshore Wind Turbines
Recently Added Papers
Sandia Study Provides Insight into Technical and Economic Feasibility of This Less-Common Turbine Design
Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, October 12, 2018
Increasing the Power Production of Vertical-Axis Wind-Turbine Farms Using Synergistic Clustering
Seyed Hossein Hezaveh, Elie Bou-Zeid, Jon Dabiri, Matthias Kinzel, Gerard Cordina, Luigi Martinelli, 6 July 2018
CEC 1985 Wind Atlas
California Energy Commission, April 1985
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.