A new kind of turbine design was on display at Yokohama’s Renewable Energy International Exhibition 2010. The Wind Lens, an idea developed by Professor Yuji Ohya at Kyushu University would have a 112-m dia. and focus the wind into the rotor by means of a hoop. Capturing higher speed wind would mean generating more power.
According to Ohya, his Wind Lens can double, even triple, the power output of a conventional wind turbine, as well as reduce the noise pollution and increase safety of the installation. Wind turbines have been accused of ruining landscapes and creating a lot of noise. In some cases, high wind speeds have torn down turbines and damaged surrounding agriculture. With a floating hexagon base, the Wind Lens might eliminate these risks.
Japan started to center its attention on wind power after tinkering with geothermal power from its volcanoes and hot springs for a number of years. Wind makes up 2% of the world’s energy, somewhere near 159.2 GW. Of course, every technology using natural resources has to adapt to various site conditions. This makes Ohya hesitant to predict wide success or adoption of the Wind Lens. “Despite its merits, even if this technology does enter the Japanese market, it may not be easily adopted by other countries.”
Still, it could be successful in windy countries like Denmark, Austria, Germany, and Norway, or states like Texas.
Filed Under: Turbines