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[MNN] Japanese 'wind lens' will make wind power cheaper than nuclear

post #1 of 45
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Quote:
[Mother Nature Network]
A surprising aerodynamic innovation in wind turbine design called the 'wind lens' could triple the output of a typical wind turbine, making it less costly than nuclear power.

The International Clean Energy Analysis (ICEA) gateway estimates that the U.S. possesses 2.2 million km2 of high wind potential (Class 3-7 winds) — about 850,000 square miles of land that could yield high levels of wind energy. This makes the U.S. something of a Saudi Arabia for wind energy, ranked third in the world for total wind energy potential.

Let's say we developed just 20 percent of those wind resources — 170,000 square miles (440,000 km2) or an area roughly 1/4 the size of Alaska — we could produce a whopping 8.7 billion megawatt hours of electricity each year

The United States uses about 26.6 billion MWh's, so at the above rate we could satisfy a full one-third of our total annual energy needs.

Now what if a breakthrough came along that potentially tripled the energy output of those turbines? You see where I'm going. We could in theory supply the TOTAL annual energy needs of the U.S. simply by exploiting 20 percent of our available wind resources.

Well, such a breakthrough has been made, and it's called the 'wind lens'...

another article about the promising prospects of affordable clean energy.

personally, i just think these things look cool.
i actually know someone who had a wind turbine put up on their land;
IIRC the total net cost was around 114K$.

i wonder how much these would cost.
want one for my future backyard...
d:
post #2 of 45
The video in the link helps explain this very simple innovation. We're sure to see this become widespread.

300
The Hedgehog
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post #3 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by geoxile View Post

I see a lot of speculatory BS and no real solid application or direct comparison to existing wind turbines. It looks like a wind-tunnel design around a rather a slightly atypical wind turbine. I'm inclined to say "Sensationalist!" as usual.
The man has spoken.

We can now close this thread. All praise geoxile.
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post #4 of 45
Meh sounds like someone is delving into their own line of pointless bs and speculation. Since you are such an expert we should all justt ake your word on this.
post #5 of 45
Completely off-topic like, but I would love to see these in Sim City 5.
I like the hexagon base design though, although if another chaotic situation occurred within its building or complete phase, I still see it being destroyed.
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post #6 of 45
I like how the article talks about using an area roughly 1/4 the size of Alaska to farm wind energy like it's no big deal....
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post #7 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Desidero View Post

I like how the article talks about using an area roughly 1/4 the size of Alaska to farm wind energy like it's no big deal....

Well, the truth to be told is, it's not, let me tell you, there is about 40,000 acres of unused land in Kansas alone, pfft, wouldn't be nothing to put up a massive wind farm down there, however.....

The toughest part about Wind Energy is, it's not consistent, I mean the wind doesn't blow 24/7 you know.. biggrin.gif

One day we will find a solution to the energy crysis, maybe before it's far too late...

This looks like a good start though.. biggrin.gif

Entire towns are being run on Wind Power now though, which is great, they buy all the stuff they need and separate themselves from the power grid. biggrin.gif
Edited by _GTech - 3/11/12 at 9:10pm
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post #8 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Desidero View Post

I like how the article talks about using an area roughly 1/4 the size of Alaska to farm wind energy like it's no big deal....
Considering the landmass of Japan, this is obviously a step towards farming the ocean for energy. It won't be easy on day 1, but this is about adding to the process as time goes by. It's not difficult in small pieces and in time, it'll turn out to be large progress even if it doesn't start out as such. but...

Nice idea but this science doesn't scale well enough. As the surface area gets larger, the circumference offers diminishing returns to the 'pull' effect the rim causes. On a small turbine, it may provide over 200% more power but I can't see the gains being very high for turbines that have 100-200ft. blades.
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post #9 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cha0s_Cha0 View Post

Considering the landmass of Japan, this is obviously a step towards farming the ocean for energy. It won't be easy on day 1, but this is about adding to the process as time goes by. It's not difficult in small pieces and in time, it'll turn out to be large progress even if it doesn't start out as such. but...
Nice idea but this science doesn't scale well enough. As the surface area gets larger, the circumference offers diminishing returns to the 'pull' effect the rim causes. On a small turbine, it may provide over 200% more power but I can't see the gains being very high for turbines that have 100-200ft. blades.

I would hope they build macro scale turbines to claim those numbers, as you said effiency is often harmed by large scale. But if it's been accounted for already, then everything's good.
post #10 of 45
Putting a shroud on a wind turbine = excellent biggrin.gif

Also, it should be pretty obvious that in developing power infastructure, one doesn't just take a massive (170k sq mi) piece of land and cover it in wind mills: they're spaced out, as corporations or utilities can afford to build them. I don't understand skepticism around wind power, pretending that they're not already abundant in places... (e.g. the American West)
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