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WHAT’S BLOWING IN US WIND POWER

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Kean Stimm's picture
CEO Kean Wind Turbines, Inc.

Kean Stimm,  CEO of Kean Wind Turbines, is an inventor, scientist and engineer who developed the Newtonian Wind Turbine, a device that will provide lower-cost electricity to power, heat and cool...

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  • Jun 20, 2019 5:45 am GMT
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This item is part of the Special Issue - 2019-06 - US Wind Power, click here for more

Few people are aware of the tremendous energy in wind. To illustrate, with a 100 foot diameter hoop placed in a continuous 12 MPH wind, the amount of energy passing through that hoop in one year is 600,000 Kilowatt hours or a continuous 90 horsepower. Double the wind velocity to 24 MPH and the amount of energy passing through the hoop is eight times greater at 4,800 megawatt hours, equivalent to 720 horsepower.

There is enough energy in the wind to power all of civilization’s needs 100 times over. The energy in wind is the mass weight of the air and its velocity. In the example above, the mass weight of the air passing through that 100 foot diameter hoop at 12 MPH is an incredible 10,400 pounds (5 tons) per second - this is not a typo. (You can easily calculate this yourself knowing the weight of air being .075 lbs/cu. ft.)

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Throughout the centuries, mankind, with all their windmill inventions has missed the basic fact that air has enormous weight and that horsepower is measured as foot-pounds per second (effectively, weight times velocity). Even the modern three blade windmill, proliferating across the world, allows 96% of the air mass to pass between the three blade span area without even touching the blades. The air passing by the blades, which occupy 4% of the span area, causes a partial vacuum that pulls the blade around. Hence, the real energy in the wind is simply neglected and not used.

The three blade windmill uses the principles of David Bernoulli which is used to generate the lift on an airplane wing. This works fine for an airplane, but when used on a rotating windmill, there is huge turbulence due to the blade tip velocity being much faster than the blade base velocity. This turbulence interferes with the vacuum on an adjacent blade and reduces overall efficiency. It also limits the number of blades to three, because as blades get closer to each other, the greater is the interference.

Much work is underway to develop wind turbines that utilize all of the wind air mass. An example is a modern sailboat with a jib and a main sail. The sails act as foils and force the air mass out of its path of motion in accordance with Sir Isaac Newton’s First Law of Linear Motion. This is very efficient and it is theorized that this type of wind turbine may extract almost 100 times as much energy from the wind as the current three blade windmill. This means they could be 1/10 the size, at much lower cost, for equivalent output.

The smaller size and huge power capability of a Newton style turbine opens entirely new possibilities for DER programs. Small wind turbines can be directly connected to electric grids with each turbine strategically placed to “see” different wind. The grid averages and smooths the output. When hundreds of thousands of turbines are connected across the USA, the result would be a continuous flow of power day and night, summer and winter. Higher wind areas supply lower wind areas. Excess turbines can drop on and off the grid to match wind and loads automatically. This minimizes the need for storage and reduces the net cost of power.

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