Inventor John O’Neil has devised a different way to capture wind power that he believes has the potential to disrupt the entrenched standards of wind energy power production and to change the industry. His idea: a cowled, no drag, horizontal-axis wind turbine, suitable for new installations and for retrofitting existing wind turbines as they age by replacing warn blades and nacelles. O’Neil says his design, which is scalable to a variety of sizes, has potential to open work in new markets, such as augmenting building power in urban areas nationwide that are currently limited by local planning departments.
His newly-patented California Wind Engine (CWE) consists of a horizontal-axis, S shaped rotor profile enclosed in a cowling. O’Neil says the cowled rotor accepts and processes one hundred percent of the arriving wind-stream force the flows into the unit. Internal fixed airfoils direct the incoming wind into the rotor-bucket voids for added rotation propulsion. Cowling enhancements and a unique internal flow reversal ducting ensure a no-drag condition throughout rotor rotation. The wind stream flows through the unit to a downwind exit.
Torque comes from a rotor-axle power takeoff shaft that extends to both sides of the cowling. Generators, compressors, pumps or other end-user requirements can be direct or off-set driven from either side of the unit.
O’Neil says the California Wind Engine unit can be mounted to permit omni-directional, weather-vane like operation that seeks the best wind. It can also incorporate optional, governor-controlled, wind dump panels, and internal variable-air-volume vanes for protection against high winds and for safety considerations.
A few benefits include the reduction of downwind turbulence and it needs less real estate per unit than conventional wind turbines. The installed unit will be sight-pollution neutral because all rotating machinery is enclosed out of sight and the cowling exterior can be painted to match the environment. O’Neil anticipates lower operational noise levels than conventional units.
The CWE Team has fabricated a small prototype for proof-of-concept and patent design. This is to test the various aspects of unit aerodynamic wind flow and to allow for continued improvement studies.
O’Neil says CWE’s goals are to encourage rapid development and return on investments while dispensing with the need for the unreliable Production Tax Credits and Government grants. “We want to produce power that is more cost effective than fossil fuel plants and the current wind power generating systems,” he says.
O’Neil (firstname.lastname@example.org) also notes that the company is developing an R&D program to determine maximum power-output potential and efficiency studies. His firm is interested in obtaining an equity-funding partner to team with, to develop a complete engineered package ready to license to the industry.
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