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Fast-flowing Air Accelerates Slow-moving Air
Jun 04, 2018

Wind turbines are turbines powered by wind energy. An aerospace research institute has developed a wind turbine that generates only half the cost of conventional turbines.

For wind turbines, this new design produces electricity that is comparable to conventional wind turbines, but the diameter of the blades is only half that of the latter. Smaller blade sizes and other factors allow new turbines to gather closer together than conventional turbines, increasing the amount of electricity generated per acre of land.

Normally, when the wind passes through the turbine, almost half of the air is forced to stay around the blades instead of passing through them. The energy in these winds is lost. Traditional wind turbines can only use up to 59.3% of wind energy. This value is called Betz limit.

Wind turbines, drawing on the design of jet engine technology, overcome a fundamental defect that exists in traditional wind turbines. Covering the blades around the wind turbine, directing air through the blades and accelerating it increases power production.

Wind turbines are like air intakes for jet engines. When air enters, it first encounters a fixed set of blades, called the stator, which directs air into a set of rotatable blades—the rotor. Air propels the rotor and appears on the other side, where the air flows at a slower rate than the turbine. The shield is suitably shaped so that it guides the outer relatively fast-flowing air into the area behind the rotor. The fast-flowing air accelerates the slowly moving air, lowering the area behind the turbine blades to absorb more air through them.

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