EiP technology makes possible something radically different than current wind technology options. This presents a total game changer for widespread adoption of wind power without all of the disadvantages of “conventional” wind turbines.
The conventional wind machine has a large propeller with two or more wing blades. We see them everywhere, the image is iconic.
Conventional wind turbines are powered by lift, like an airplane. The lift effect causes the tips of propeller blades to move faster than wind speed, which makes it easier to run a generator. But, blade tips moving faster than wind are noisy and dangerous, and fragile in high wind. They require steady and unobstructed wind, which means they must be placed on a tower. In strong gusts, stress forces between blade tips and central shaft cause blades to break off, so they must be located away from urban areas, disrupting open space in the rural landscape. They require a high amount of maintenance, because unlubricated gearboxes and main bearings fail catastrophically. Located away from distant urban power consumers, means that much of the energy produced is dumped into a transmission system that requires every wind farm to be backed up by a powerplant that produces at least 80% of rated power. To integrate with the grid, rotors must always spin at constant speed, even with no wind, which requires more backup power. The net effect means that wind farms can never deliver more than 20% of rated output, best case. Regardless, most wind development leans toward large industrial wind farms, leaving limited options for individual business or residential community power users interested in exploring their own approaches.
There is a tremendous appetite for something different, so unconventional wind turbine designs, available commercially, or as homebrew projects, are quite common. The designs that offer the most promise for low noise and self regulation operate using wind drag instead of lift. Here are some examples:
These machines are powered like a spinnaker on a sailboat. The rotor blades move no faster than the wind speed, resulting in quiet, slow rotation with high mechanical torque. Vertical axis machines can operate in winds of any direction without adjustment. At a certain point, wind drag driving the rotor is balanced by wind drag opposing it, and the rotor can spin no faster, regardless of wind speed, so no mechanical regulation is required to avoid catastrophe.
Despite all of these advantages, a more powerful machine must have a large diameter rotor, which is heavy, providing most of its power at slow speed with very high inertia. This is a drawback because extreme gearing is needed to spin a generator fast enough for useful power, which under strong loading stresses the rotor shaft. These types of wind machines extract greater mechanical energy from the wind, for grinding grain or lifting water, but difficulty adapting these machines to electrical generators has led to little commercial success since ancient times.
The EiP Wind Machine
The EiP wind machine is a hybrid lift and drag design, made possible through EiP technology. No central shaft is required to drive a generator. Instead, electrical generation is integrated into a slow-moving high-inertia wind rotor. The rotor contains vertical wing blades, forming a hollow cylinder. It rotates within a sturdy structure on four legs, with stationary vertical fins that create perfect windflow for the rotor regardless of wind direction and speed. As it rotates, each blade’s profile with respect to windflow produces varying proportions of lift and drag response all around the rotor, all at once, instantly and quietly. Lift spins the rotor while drag captures sudden wind speed changes. EiP technology defines how permanent magnets embedded in the base of the rotor cylinder, passing between stationary generator windings on steel cores above and below, generate full power within a fraction of rotation. Patented modular magnetics and network-controlled electronics instantly convert wind energy directly from rotor blades to DC power. All from one moving part that is mechanically self-regulating, free running in any wind conditions, fully under networked electronic control.
Operating at low speed, EiP wind machines are safe and quiet, even in turbulent winds. EiP wind machines are perfectly suited for urban rooftops, without the need for a tower. The problem of a large rotating mass becomes a power storage device in addition to generation. High speed networked power control allows EiP wind machines to be linked together in a cluster. Typically, multiple generators do not play well together, creating destructive power oscillations and disturbances. EiP technology transforms the oscillation phenomenon into a storage device. Plus, EiP wind machines can combine with rooftop solar and other sources to create a 100% renewable energy system (not 20%)! This provides a great leap forward to sustainability, without fossil-fueled backup generators.
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