Engineer Live reports that a new wind turbine blade design developed by researchers at Sandia National Labs in partnership with Knight and Carver of San Diago looks to be more efficient than current designs at low wind speed. The new design, called a sweep twist adaptive rotor (STAR) has a gently curved tip, called a “sweep.” The STAR is specifically designed for sites with low wind speed such as the US midwest.
“The sites targeted by this effort have annual average wind speeds of 5.8m/s at a height of 10 metres. Such sites are abundant in the US and would increase by 20-fold the available land area that can be economically developed for wind energy.”
The 28.1 meter blade was produced under a contract that is part of the low wind speed technology (LWST) project that targets wind power sites that are not very strong but are plentiful The US Department of Energy awarded the contract to Knight & Carver in 2005.