GE is trying to figure out how to make larger generators, the Obama administration is funding an R&D center in Maine that will make and test giant turbines and researchers in Ohio are using polyurethane reinforced with carbon to make bigger yet lighter blades. So is all the news in the wind industry about bigger, bigger, bigger?
Not quite. Here’s a story from the world off small wind: Turbine-manufacturer Wind Simplicity said its Samara blade has received a U.S. patent, a first for the Canadian company. This is the blade that is used in Wind Simplicity’s Windancer small wind turbine and “is one of the features that makes the Windancer high-efficiency, compact and noise-free (with negligible noise and vibration),” the company said.
In its U.S. patent filing, the company describes its innovation as “a curved blade for use on horizontal wind turbines, the blade comprising a substantially semicircular tip portion, a substantially semicircular counter-tip portion opposite the tip portion, and a body portion extending between the tip portion and the counter-tip portion, the body portion being further defined by a concave curved trailing edge and a convex curved leading edge.”
Another notable aspect about the blade – unrelated to its patent, apparently – is that it is made of recyclable aluminum. As we wrote earlier this year, this earned the company the Design for Recycling award from the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries. How well is the performance though? The company claims its highest end turbine model has a peak rated capacity of 22.8 kW–57.1 amps, with a RPM at that capacity of 600.