Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Researchers make advances in wind energy generation

Engineers at the University of Alberta have made a very significant advancement in generating wind power, creating a wind energy generator is small enough for people to use to power their own homes.

The traditional problem with harnessing wind energy has been the high cost and the low return of energy, especially for small-scale generators. Present devices have been unable to convert any energy when winds fall below specific cut off speeds, wasting much energy potential.

However the new open loop control system can be built with a few, simple electronic components that are cheap and easy to find, use and repair. Anit it is able to transfer even light winds into electric energy.

Although nothing has yet been built hat is ready to sell, the engineers have designed and tested a generator that they are working to improve before they expect to apply for a patent and possibly bring it to market.

Wind energy is often derided due to the fact that the wind does not always blow, but a British study recently found that their wind generators were able to produce electricity over 90 percent of the time, while their nuclear power plants operated less than 80 percent of the time. The possibility of making a wind generator small enough and efficient enough for individuals to use would vastly enlarge the market.


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