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Wind energy without stroboscopic effect: the "stationary" turbine can power houses

Wind energy without stroboscopic effect: the “stationary” turbine can power houses

Wind power without stroboscopic effect
The “stationary” turbine can power houses

By Gernot Kramper

In Texas, a box was developed that captures the wind, amplifies it, and then generates electricity inside. Without noise and without spoiling the landscape. One box has a power of 5000 watts and supplies electricity even at night and in the dark season.

Until now, anyone who wanted to generate their own electricity at home had to rely on solar power. The construction of your own small wind power plant is subject to strict requirements as soon as the device exceeds the size of a better toy. This is due in part to the emissions from the devices: operating noise and the stroboscopic effect of blades in sunlight. Aeromine Technologies, a spin-off from the University of Houston, has now introduced a new generation of wind turbines that remain completely still and silent in the landscape or on the roof.

The system should also be much cheaper than a solar system. “Aeromine Technologies’ patented stationary wind power system produces up to 50 percent more power at the same cost as a rooftop solar array,” the company said.

Seen from outside motionless

How does the device work? In fact, the plant is motionless only when viewed from the outside. There you only see one type of wind catcher. Its shape catches the wind and directs it towards the actual turbine inside. So of course something moves there. The turbine is oriented vertically and rotates inside the device, generating electricity. The whole box is three to four meters high, previous test systems are placed on a kind of base, in which the supply lines presumably run. Properly installed, these can be roofed or underground.

Small wind farms are not new. When it comes to small versions of the big systems, they can hardly be installed in residential areas. There are also smaller vertical turbines. The special thing about the Aeromine system is the aerodynamic wind catcher, which increases efficiency. It amplifies a gentle breeze into a strong breeze and optimizes wind flow, even if it doesn’t hit the device directly. The receiver has a larger area than the turbine opening. Basically, these collectors are based on the well-known Venturi effect, by intelligently narrowing the air flow, the flow rate is increased.

High and flat ceilings are preferred

The devices are initially intended for commercial buildings. 20 to 40 pieces can be placed on a roof. Wind usually blows strongest over a roof and is not deflected by ground elevations. The boxes require much less space than a solar panel. One box is supposed to deliver 5,000 watts; this corresponds to about 12 solar panels of 400 watts each, which together require about 50 square meters of space. Of course, wind boxes on a roof can also be combined with solar panels. This is also unlike windmill-shaped devices, whose rotors would shade neighboring solar panels.

In principle, such devices can only be installed in places where there is no wind. A reasonably constant wind direction is also important, as boxes currently cannot be turned into the wind. That would be easy to do as it would only require the plastic manifold to rotate around the turbine. However, due to the boosting effect, there doesn’t have to be a storm.

24/7 electricity supply

The advantage of such a system is obvious: as long as the wind blows, it supplies electricity 24 hours a day and throughout the year. Longer operating times also explain the cost advantage over a photovoltaic system. The annual watt hour harvest of a 5000 watt box is much higher than that of panels of the same capacity.

Since the boxes are absolutely inconspicuous and do not pose any dangers such as bird strikes, they can also be a useful addition to private homes, provided they are in a suitable location. The device will not work in a mini garden surrounded by hedges and buildings on all sides. Quite different but in open country near the coast.