New Wind Turbine Blade Under Development

One of the barriers to widespread development of wind power is the wind itself: while it blows like crazy in places like Kansas, Texas and South Dakota, as well as off-shore, other locations just don’t get the wind speeds that would make this form of generation economically viable. That may change somewhat if the new STAR wind turbine blades by Knight & Carver (who’s other main product, interestingly enough, is luxury boats) performs as planned. The blades are designed to work on wind turbines located in areas with lower wind speeds: according to their press materials,

With the name “STAR”Β” –Β– which stands for “Sweep Twist Adaptive Rotor”Β” –Β– the blade is the first of its kind ever built. Its most distinctive characteristic is a gently curved tip, which unlike the vast majority of blades in current use, is specially designed for low-wind-speed regions.

Sized overall at 27.5 meters (approx. 90’Β’2″Β”) x 2.4 meters (approx. 7’Β’8″Β”), the blade takes maximum advantage of all wind speeds, including marginal speeds. Instead of the traditional linear shape, the blade features a curvature toward the trailing edge, designed to relieve pressure on the blade and turbine drive train.

“Β“Depending on the wind farm’s site, this blade will capture between 5 and 10 percent more energy,”Β” said Gary Kanaby, Knight & Carver’Β’s Blade Division Manager.

The blades have already received the DOE’s “Β“Outstanding Research and Development Partnership Award,”Β” and the department has placed a high priority on developing the technology to take advantage of wind resources that haven’t been considered commercially viable. Apparently, these things take quite a bit of time and energy to build — a second one isn’t slated for completion until the end of the year. Still, this could give a boost to wind power development nationally.

Via 25x’25

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