Small Wind-Powered Generator with Vertical Rotor
The Spanish company Kliux Energies Geólica Innovations SL has developed special rotors for wind-powered generators that are vertically mounted and, as a result, always face the wind. The material used for the rotor blades is an integral foam based on the Baydur PU system from Bayer MaterialScience that satisfies the demanding requirements for strength and light weight very well. The rotor blades are manufactured by the company Policam in Barcelona. Each rotor has a diameter of two meters and a height of three meters, with a weight of 116 kg. Including the mast, the wind-powered generators are nine meters tall.
Small wind farms in developed countries contribute to the creation of intelligent power grids with decentralized generation of electricity. In developing and emerging countries, on the other hand, they are preferred in regions without central generation of electricity and used in small power plants.
Thanks to the vertical orientation of the eight rotor blades, it is not necessary to align the rotor at a specific angle with respect to the wind. It is possible to generate electricity already at a wind speed of 4 meters per second. Maximum output (approx. 4 kilowatts) is reached at a wind speed of about 11 m/s. The aerodynamic shape of the rotor ensures uniform rotation and continuous generation of electricity even during variable or strong wind conditions. The wind-powered generator is characterized by low noise generation and presents less of a hazard for birds, since it is recognized easily.
A field test by the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) has demonstrated that wind farms can provide up to ten times the energy from the same area when compact vertical turbines are used instead of the large horizontal wind turbines currently in use. To prevent aerodynamic interference and the associated efficiency losses, the distance between two horizontal wind turbines must be about 20 times their diameter. With vertical turbines, however, four times the diameter is sufficient to exclude interference.