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More economical and easier to install wind generator: the wind reservoir

25.03.2002


The new wind generator


Two Basque companies, Enerlim and NECESA, have developed a new wind generator, a wind reservoir to make use of wind energy.

This wind reservoir is much lighter than ordinary three-arm wind generators; hence, it is more economical and easier to install. On the other side, the machine is completely modular, as columns, pulleys and plates can be divided in order to make easier the production, transport and installation. The largest piece to be transported and installed is 12 meters long and 2.5 Tm. Therefore, it is not necessary to use special trucks or roads and neither huge cranes. In addition, only the structure can be seen from a distance of 4 meters. As a consequence, the environmental impact of this system, according to their promoters, is low. Neither does it involve any danger for birds, because the maximum speed of the plates is 40 km/h, and they can easily avoid them.

The wind reservoir is based on two columns of 25 meters high and there is a distance of 135 meters between both of them. Each one has three pulleys of 3 meters diameter each and they are located at different heights. Those pulleys conduct steel cables that are moving between the two columns. Perpendicular to the cables there are 53 plates, each with 25 kilograms, 12 meters high and 25 meters wide. Next to each pulley of one of the columns there is a generator of 100 KW.



The wind reservoir starts working when the speed of the wind is more than 4 m/s. When the plates reach the rated speed, alternators connect with the power-network and start producing electrical power. The power produced by those alternators is not constant, it depends on the speed of the wind. When speed is lower, the power produced is also lower. However, due to security reasons, high speed of the wind is damaging for the system. Therefore, when the speed of the wind is lower than 4 m/s or higher than 20 m/s, the system stops working. To do that, automatic air brakes are used.

The promoter company Ekoeolika has built the installations in the valley of Losa in Burgos. According to calculations done by Enerlim, the average speed of the wind in Losa is 3.8 m/s. Hence, in one year 281,176 KW/h energy is produced, enough to cover the energy need of 80 homes.

Garazi Andonegi | alphagalileo

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