Sometimes a simple idea comes along that seems so normal we wonder why no one thought of it before. This is certainly true in energy generation, where energy harvesting is finally making strides. See last month’s piece on sand as thermal energy storage as an example.
Leviathan Wind Energizer of New York is doing something similar. They have taken an idea we are familiar with — that wind is deflected and sent upwards by a sloped surface — and applied it to wind turbines. Using computational fluid dynamics and aerodynamics, the company has engineered a way to retrofit wind turbines with a cost-effective deflection apron that captures more wind and sends it upwards to the turbines to make them spin faster. A comparitive demonstration project even shows that the aprons can keep turbines rotating when without an apron the turbines would be still.
By creating computer models of wind flow and each turbine, Leviathan can design deflectors far enough away from the turbine that make the wind higher velocity and more uniform in the plane of the blades.
Company founder Dr. Daniel Farb explained that velocity is the most important part of the power equation because its relationship to the power is cubed, yielding a large effect. He calls it a true technology gamechanger “because it improves the wind, not the turbine.”
He believes that retrofits using Wind Energizer technology in the US could quickly add almost 60,000 Gigawatt-hours of clean energy. The company has established successful a small scale demonstrator program in Israel, and recently received an invitation from the National Renewable Energy Center in Golden, Colorado to build a large demonstrator there. Leviathan is conducting simultaneous crowdfunding, one on Kickstarter for non-equity investors, and one on Fundable for equity investors with a low minimum of $5000. They are seeking $1 million or $500,000 and matching funds to build a complete demo package and obtain all the certifications required.
Note: Cleantech Concepts makes no claims as to the performance of any technologies mentioned on this site, has no financial interest in any of the companies described, and does not provide investment advice.