Wind turbine technologies are becoming more advanced all the time. While the three blade, mega-tower approach still reigns supreme as far as commercial wind power production goes, smaller, more efficient turbines are making their way off of the design tables and into our consciousness one concept at a time.
Concerned with the difficulty of erecting massive commercial turbines and the impact it can have on the environment, Austrian research company IAT21 has conceptualized a floating turbine that gathers its power from wind as well as the force of flowing water. The Dalus W-Water is based on the “cyclogyro” rotor of an existing aircraft propulsion system that can be easily reversed to produce electricity.
In its original use as part of the D-Dalus aircraft propulsion system, the cyclogyro rotor assembly converts power from a conventional motor into a forced airflow across aerodynamic blades. But in the Dalus W-Water the process is reversed and the modified rotor assembly captures both water and wind energy, and converts it into electricity.
The turbine (which looks like something the Rebel Alliance might have used against the Death Star) features an outside covering like a spoiler on both sides and on top that increases the water flow speed around the turbine approximately by a factor of 1.5. Such a design ensures that the flow of water can be used for an extended range and doesn’t remain limited, points out this Design Buzz review.
Unlike typical wave power or hydropower technologies, the Dalus W-Water would continue to produce electricity in both low and high water flow situations, meaning that it could be placed in smaller rivers and streams without losing power generation potential. The creators intentionally designed the W-Water to be installed locally and immediately, making it a perfect fit for disaster control, civil protection and emergency situations.