When we wrote about FloDesign's weird-looking wind turbines a while back, we were pretty excited about the new design. But we were a little confused by how the things worked.
Well, FloDesign seems to have taken my confusion to heart, because they've created a very nice video showing exactly how the turbines work. If you can get over the inspirational music, then you're in for a treat. They take the time to explain a bit about how the turbine actually works, and also show that it's much easier to ship, requires less infrastructure, can be placed closer to people, and can be more tightly spaced in a wind farm.
The new turbines extract three to four times more energy from the wind, and so can be much smaller. They don't upset the flow of the wind as much, and so can be placed closer together. And since there is no risk of catastrophic failure (see video below) they can be placed nearer to populations.
All of this adds up to pulling a heck of a lot more energy from the wind. The trick will be figuring out how to mass produce the parts from strong, lightweight materials inexpensively. And then, they need to figure a way to put all the pieces together without compromising the strength of the turbine.
The Massachusetts Technology Collaborative has just invested $500,000 in FloDesign to help them scale up. I'm not sure what they'll be doing with the money (don't worry, I'm after them for an interview), but I imagine that amount could help them a great deal with prototyping.
FloDesign is definitely a company that we'll have our eyes on. This could be a game changer for wind.
written by Tom, March 29, 2008
written by Al Fin, March 29, 2008
written by Dave, March 31, 2008
written by disdaniel, March 31, 2008
written by Phillip, November 04, 2009
written by Carlos Barrera, April 17, 2010
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