Blackhawk TR-10 VAWT
Researchers from the Blackhawk Project are testing their new TR-10 Tilt Rotor Vertical Axis Wind Turbine (VAWT) at the Dept of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory Center for Advanced Energy Studies (CAES).
The Blackhawk Tilt Rotor’s design uses helicopter like wings, called airfoils, that rotate parallel to the ground. The airfoils are attached to the Blackhawk’ patent pending tilt rotor sitting in the center of the wind turbine. The slanted rotor allows the turbine to self-start, and, according to the researchers, lets the Blackhawk generate electricity without the noise, clutching, electronics, tower heights, or heavy blades that come along with most wind turbines. The design also lets the turbine start in winds as low as 7 mph, which is much less then the 12-15 mph wind speed needed for most wind turbine designs. Since the rotor tilts depending on wind speed, the Blackhawk TR-10 can also function in very high wind speeds – its been able to function in wind gusts as high as 101 mph.
As part of the testing process, a student crew will oversee maintenance of the turbine. Blackhawk claims that their turbine is much more durable than traditional turbines because it has fewer electronics and moving parts. In addition, the long arms of the turbine create higher torque so that it can produce more power with fewer revolutions per minute.
The entire turbine can fit in the back of a pickup truck and takes about three hours to install. Blackhawk is targeting the TR-10 for farms, shops and houses in rural and semi-rural areas.