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Renewables – wind

Two Lancaster University students, Nicolas Orellana and Yaseen Noorani, won the James Dyson Award last year for a radical new design called the O-Wind Turbine. It uses a 25cm spinning sphere sitting on a fixed axis and works with the wind blowing in any direction, making it particularly suitable for urban areas. Another even more unconventional potential solution is the Autonomous Tethered Aerostat an airborne wind turbine developed by the Boston-based company Altaeros Energies. This tethered blimp-like device looks like a giant tyre and floats in the air at a height of more than 100 metres. It provides a very different visual alternative to the traditional design, but its main benefit is that can harness the stronger winds found at altitude, also reducing ground noise and speeding up the investment payback period. Another advantage of the helium-filled AWT, which is assembled from the same material used for advanced racing sailing yachts, is that it is more visible to birds than the current horizontal axis turbines, which have been accused of being damaging to wildlife. Other possibilities for the future include vertical axis turbines – originally conceived as a sail design by the ancient Persians – and bladeless inventions using spinning discs.

Herald 25th July 2019 read more »

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