Wind turbines usually lose up to 40 percent of potential energy because wind flow is not optimised past the turbine blades. The new FloDesign Wind Turbine takes design cues from jet engine designs in order to minimize this wasted energy.
The company has surrounded the moving blades with a set of stationary blades that propel the wind towards the rotor. The idea is not new, but previous designs have needed to constantly be aligned with the direction of the wind. The FloDesign turbine can automatically align to the wind direction and has been tested to be effective from up to 20 degrees away.
Normal turbine design requires large, slow-moving blades in order to compensate for the energy lost as the wind is directed around the device. FloDesign claims their new turbine can generate as much energy as a typical turbine twice its size.
Using these smaller turbines, wind farms could double or triple their efficiency simply by adding more turbines. The company recently raised $6 million in its first round of venture financing and has announced partnerships with wind-farm developers.
Check out this great video of the fan in CG action.