Top 5 Alternative Wind Power Generating Systems

Interesting Engineering

1. Ewicon. Scaled model could be seen in front of the faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science at the Delft University of Technology. This is a project developed by Johan Smit and Dhiradi Djairam, scientists at the same university. The device generates electricity by pushing charged particles in a direction which is opposite of an electrical field. Wind that comes from the outside is the main force that pushes these particles in wind power production.

Wind_power_plants_in_Xinjiang,_China[Image Source: Wikimedia]

2. Saphonian. This bladeless wind turbine produces electric power by capturing the wind in back and forth motion which is turned into mechanical power via pistons. After that the pistons generate hydraulic pressure which is converted into electricity by a hydraulic motor and generator. Saphonian was developed by Saphon Energy.

3. Airborne Wind Turbine. This invention is so genial as it is simple. It gravitates around the idea of lifting common wind turbine to a higher altitude, where winds are stronger and the amount generated electricity – much higher. It is done by specially designed balloons shaped like a tube. Altaeros Energies stands behind the Airborne project.

4. Invelox. SheerWind stated that their Invelox system could be up to 600% more effective than the regular wind turbines. Invelox is 12-15 meters tall tower with large scoops on its top. The wind that came into a scoop at first is next forwarded via narrowed funnel to a generator. The speed of the air is increased when it is compressed, which allows for increment of around 4 times the initial wind speed - from 10 mph (16 km/h) to 40 mph (64 km/h) inside Invelox.

5. Catching Wind Power. The wind turbines of this manufacturer use a principle which is similar to the invention above – the airflow enters through the wider open end of a conic structure and is then directed to a turbine at the narrower end of the same structure.

Common feature of all of the inventions above is that they’re much safer for the wild life, especially for birds and other flying animals. They also have several times higher efficiency in generating electricity than the ordinary wind turbines and the noise pollution from them is much lower. It is unknown whether these wind turbines would have sufficient financial and technical support to replace the present wind generating systems, but at least they have the potential to do so.

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