by Staff Writers
London, UK (SPX) Oct 17, 2008
A radical new design in wind turbines - the AeroCam from BroadStar Wind Systems - will make its European debut here at one of the largest renewable energy conferences ever held in the U.K.
BroadStar, an engineering and technology firm specializing in wind power generation, is exhibiting a full-size version of its new AeroCam at the BWEA30 event at the ExCeL Centre in London October 21-23.
BroadStar made its first public appearance in the U.S. in June, where the launch of its AeroCam followed four years of research and development, and the issue of patents earlier this year.
Keen interest in the commercial-scale turbine already has been expressed by 27 leading U.S. corporations eager to reduce their energy costs. BroadStar wants to draw similar attention in Europe, where it is pursuing its first beta test sites with interested customers.
The innovative AeroCam turbine uses horizontal blades arranged in a rotating cylindrical structure, which can be placed on buildings or to infill existing wind farms.
With its parallel rotor blades giving it the appearance of a water wheel, not only does it look radically different from traditional windmill-like designs, but also it is more aerodynamically efficient, smaller and more compact. This means it can be manufactured, transported, installed and maintained at lower cost.
Currently there are very few commercial-scale turbines in the 100kW to 500kW class served by the AeroCam. Traditional propeller designs need to be manufactured at the largest possible size for aerodynamic efficiency. This means producing 1.5MW turbines and upwards, which increases their cost and limits their application to remote areas.
"Our field trials and wind tunnel tests confirm that our new design has a higher power density than conventional wind turbines and the blades can be smaller without compromising aerodynamic efficiency," says Stephen Else, president of BroadStar Wind Systems.
"It can also harness its power in many more locations and generate energy close to where it"s actually required."
The main technical innovation in the AeroCam design is its ability to continually adjust the pitch of its rotor blades to an optimum angle as the turbine rotates. This unique active pitch control capability helps optimize its aerodynamic performance for the same reasons a bird changes the shape of its wings in flight.
The result is a wind turbine that can handle a wide range of wind velocities, anywhere between 4 and 80 mph (6-130km/h). It also generates its power at lower rotational speed, so there is less noise and vibration, hence less wear and tear.
The AeroCam has a very low start-up speed, requiring a wind velocity of just 4 mph (6km/h), and it starts generating power at an unprecedented 5 mph (8km/h), a much lower wind speed than traditional wind turbines.
"This is a new and exciting breakthrough in wind energy technology with huge potential to reduce soaring energy costs," says Else.
"The London event provides a great opportunity for our European debut, where we can discuss the unique benefits of the AeroCam with industry experts and distributors and a variety of potential customers, including architects, wind farmers, urban developers, commercial companies and government bodies."
"The AeroCam has the potential to equip almost every local community, business and government building with its own source of renewable energy and it can also supplement conventional turbines in existing wind farms, significantly increasing the output of electricity."
BroadStar Wind Systems
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