Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers make advances in wind energy generation

19.07.2005


Engineers at the University of Alberta have created a wind energy generator that they hope people will one day be able to use to power their own homes.



"We have developed a simple, reliable, controller for small scale wind energy generators that is cheaper than competing technologies," said Dr. Andy Knight, a professor in the U of A Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and lead author of a paper on the subject published recently in IEEE Transactions on Energy Conversion.

The traditional problem with harnessing wind energy has been the high cost and the low return of energy, especially for small-scale generators, Knight explained. A particular problem is that the devices have been unable to convert any energy when winds fall below specific cut off speeds, and much energy is therefore wasted.


However, Knight’s open loop control system can be built with a few, simple electronic components that are cheap and easy to find, use and repair. As well, Knight’s system is able to transfer even light winds into electric energy.

Although Knight and his colleagues have not yet built anything that is ready to sell, they have designed and tested a generator that they are working to improve before they expect to apply for a patent and possibly bring it to market.

Current small-scale wind energy generators cost about $2,400 US and, on an average wind speed day, produce 5.2 kiloWatt-Hours per day, Knight said. According to Natural Resources Canada, the average household consumes between 34 and 67 kiloWatt-Hours per day.

Generally, current small-scale wind energy generators require wind speeds of at least 18 km/h to generate any power, but Knight’s device could be used in low wind environments, such as the Edmonton, Alberta area, where the average wind is 10 km/h.

"But it wouldn’t be something you’d put in your garden. Energy is already cheap and abundant in Edmonton, so it wouldn’t be financially viable in the city," Knight said, adding that fast turning wind turbines in a small yard would create a hazard.

However, the generators could be used at remote locations outside of the city, where the power supply is more expensive and less abundant.

Based on the results of his ongoing work, Knight is hopeful that wind energy might one day become a clean, renewable, viable source of energy for everyone to use, which would counter the environmental damage occurring from our current use of fossil fuels as our main source for energy.

"My work is something that can make a small change, and it’s probably a bunch of small changes here and there that will add up and one day have a big impact," he said.

Ryan Smith | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ualberta.ca
http://feynman.ee.ualberta.ca/squealed/academic.php?fname=Andy&lname=Knight

More articles from Power and Electrical Engineering:

nachricht Microhotplates for a smart gas sensor
22.02.2017 | Toyohashi University of Technology

nachricht Positrons as a new tool for lithium ion battery research: Holes in the electrode
22.02.2017 | Technische Universität München

All articles from Power and Electrical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Microhotplates for a smart gas sensor

22.02.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Scientists unlock ability to generate new sensory hair cells

22.02.2017 | Life Sciences

Prediction: More gas-giants will be found orbiting Sun-like stars

22.02.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>