By Tuan Nguyen
Posting in Cities
The latest invention to take advantage of the abundance of gusts in urban environments is the IMPLUX wind turbine, a power generator that can harness winds coming from any directions.
Mention wind power and what most likely comes to mind are the familiar cookie-cutter wind farms located offshore or in some remote rural area. To make that snapshot a bit more scenic, you might even think of rolling plains and grassy hillsides.
Whatever the case, you probably wouldn't expect to see a wind turbine on the way to the movie theater. But as ideas like the SmartWind device for rooftops start rolling in, preconceived notions of how and where wind energy can be harvested may someday change.
The latest invention to take advantage of the abundance of gusts in urban environments is the IMPLUX wind turbine, a power generator that can harness winds coming from any directions. To accomplish this, the inventor, Varan Sureshan came up with a design that's best described as an innovative departure from the hum-drum fan-shaped rotor blade contraption that has become the poster child for renewable wind energy.
The IMPLUX uses instead a vase-shaped shroud with an encircling vent-like structure to allow wind to enter in from every which direction. To prevent most of the air from escaping through one of the other entry points, the bottom opening creates what Sureshan calls a "fluid dynamic gate." The vent blades are also angled upward so that the incoming air can flow toward the direction of a horizontal rotor that sits atop the shroud. And as the rotor turns, it generates electricity.
Here's the link to a video that demonstrates the technology behind IMPLUX. (Sorry everyone, I couldn't find a way to embed it)
Sureshan founded a company, Katru Eco-Energy, to produce, market and sell the device. On the company's web site, he claims that "the new invention is capable of generating electrical power equal to or higher than standard horizontal wind turbines of same sized rotor but with the benefits of reduced noise and reduced maintenance."
Other noted benefits includes the capacity to be scaled up without any limitations, seamless integration with a building's existing electrical power supply and minimal risk to birds since the openings are too small for them to fly into.
He has submitted for IMPLUX for patenting and plans to test a prototype on a high-rise building sometime in June. If everything goes according to plan, he hopes to start selling 9.8 x 9.8 ft wind turbines that produce 1.5 kW sometime in mid-2012 for the price of $10,000 dollars.
Image: Katru Eco-Energy
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May 16, 2011
PV panels are priced below $1/W. Hence 1.5 kW could be generated with $2-3K of PV system.Less money, no noise, no bird killing, less air conditioning. Editors ought to be more knowledgeable than the average reader, don't you think?
My choice would be http://www.helixwind.com
Yes the visability is interresting as I am sure the cost. The increased wind loading should be much increased above using smaller more conventional multi-units where loss of one unit does not equal total failure. Randy
A valid point has been raised 16Tons, so please do not be so quick with your petty dismal. There is a difference between being a naysayer and asking for proof it is truly a better design than it's competition. Unless this design uses some aerodynamic trick to accelerate wind speed through the turbine when compared to direct wind action I do not see how this design is more efficient than existing vertical designs. If it does use such a trick than please show test results to support the design theory.
There's a building a few blocks from my home that has a vertical-axis wind turbine mounted on it's roof. Yesterday as I pedaled by it was moving at a good clip in a decent breeze and it was virtually noiseless. I can't vouch for its efficiency or power output but the design was simple. It was quite interesting to watch (like a moving sculpture) and doesn't require as much space as a traditional wind turbine. Might even be a hit in the Hamptons. It looks something like this but I can't vouch that it was the same mfg. http://www.quietrevolution.com/
I say good for him. Listen to the nay-sayers and we will have nothing to show. He has hit the deck running, so far.
There are numerous all directional wind rotor designs that accomplish the same thing as this design, but for far less material costs and may also be more efficient - i.e. the sarvonius and other axial rotors. The surface drag of it's tower and it's directional vanes will easily make this design ineffective and structurally risky and dangerous during storms..
Great choice but they are currently out of stock and for some reason (could not find on their website) not able to produce more product until further notice.
I agree with dduggerbiocepts. A little over engineering for something already done. It looks cool but is it really as efficient or more efficient than designs that already take advantage of any direction wind with minimal moving parts? The concept is sound... but I also see an issue with resistance of airflow over the top. The wind would have to be targeted to the bottom of the vents with little or none over the top to reach the maximum efficiency. A lot of work to eliminate issues that a sarvonius design would not see.