Top 5 Recent Innovations in Wind Power

1. The Wind Lens Turbine from Kyushu University

Another improvement on conventional wind turbines: this year, scientists from Kyushu University found a way to not only triple the electrical output of a wind turbine, but also decrease its noise level and reduce the risks to avian populations, simply by using a “wind lens” in place of traditional turbine blades.

2. Airborne Wind Turbines

In the works since around 2007, airborne wind turbines would take advantage of the consistency and higher speeds of high-altitude air currents. There are a number of companies researching different models of airborne wind turbines, including Joby EnergyMakani PowerSky WindPower and Magenn Power.

3. Vibro-wind Panels

In 2010, scientists from Cornell University developed wind power installations small (and cheap) enough to place on your roof, so called “vibro-wind panels.” They work by converting vibrations from even the “gentlest of breezes” into electricity.

4. Smart “shape-shifting” turbine blades

in 2009, scientists from Purdue University developed turbine blades that can quickly change shape and adapt to wind conditions to help maximize the amount of electricity generated while ensuring longer life spans for wind turbines.

5. Vertical Axis Wind Turbines

Canadian company VBINE Energy has commercialized the Vertical Axis Wind Turbine (VAWT), which can be installed in more urban and industrial settings. The VAWT is a ring-shaped generator that can encircle any cylinder and rotate around the structure with the aid of wind-catching blades.

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