SheerWind’s new ducted wind turbine design increases wind speed and boosts power output

Sheerwind INVELOX
Sheerwind INVELOX
SheerWind, a startup from Chaska, Minnesota, is showing off their prototype of a new type of ducted wind turbine that they say will concentrate and increase wind speed in order to increase power output.   INVELOX (“increasing the velocity” of wind), consists of a ducted wind turbine that captures wind energy from any direction, then funnels and concentrates the wind and sends it down a funnel to a small turbine at ground level.

SheerWind is claiming several advantages from the INVELOX.  By increasing the speed of the wind hitting the turbine blades, SheerWind says they can boost power output by almost 3 times.  The INVELOX can also produce power at lower wind speeds than conventional horizontal or vertical wind turbines.

SheerWind also thinks that their design will be cheaper to install, since a significant challenge for conventional wind turbines is the difficulty in transporting and mounting their  gigantic turbine blades.   Because the INVOLEX funnels the wind down to a ground based small turbine, they can use much smaller blades than conventional wind turbines.   Sheerwind also claims lower maintenance costs since its cheaper to maintain a ground based turbine than a turbine nacelle that’s hundreds of feet up in the air.

The company recently completed and installed its first large scale prototype.  Initial testing (without the turbine in place) shows that they’re getting increased wind speed passing through the INVOLEX – almost double the speed of the outside wind.  They’re now in the process of installing the turbine and producing electricity.

via:  MIT Technology Review

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