Bladeless, funnel-based wind turbine claims huge efficiency gains

As governments all over the globe continue inching towardrenewable energy sources, there continue to be a few sticking points. One company out of Minnesota claims to have a new wind power generation technology that can alleviate most of the world’s concerns. SheerWind says its Invelox system can operate in a wider variety of conditions and is up to 600% more efficient than traditional wind turbines.

Those large wind turbines you’re used to see dotting the skyline in rural areas rely on fairly swift winds to function. Invelox can generate power from winds as gentle as 1-2 MPH. It does this by capturing passing breezes in large scoops at the top of its 40-50 foot tower. The wind is funneled down toward the ground through an increasingly narrow space. When the air is compressed, it speeds up and is used to power a small turbine generator.

The claim that Invelox is six-times more efficient than a turbine is more than a little shocking, so SheerWind is trying to prove its case, but it’s currently doing so with internal testing (so keep that in mind). The company tested its turbine both with and without the Invelox cowling. When it compared the values over time, that works out to energy production improvements anywhere from 81-660%. The average was 314%, but it should be noted this is actually the advantage SheerWind’s turbine gets from being inside the Invelox system. It’s not quite a comparison with “real” wind power turbines.

Fuzzy math aside, the company says it has been able to produce wind power at a cost of $750 per kilowatt, including installation. This brings it in-line with the final cost of energy from natural gas and hydropower. The energy industry is all about value, so if the Invelox technology is legit, it’s going to be huge. Invelox takes up much less space than traditional windmills, and it poses little to no risk to birds or curious children. More

 

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