A better ROI, “Return on Investment” is what is needed in the small wind industry.
To start less tower and foundation costs are the quickest way to reduce overall capital cost of small wind turbines.
25%-35% lower tower heights mean less foundation costs, however the turbine must be designed differently to operate in Low and Medium “Semi-Turbulent” wind , often subjected to more rapid changes of wind direction.
This is exactly what Starwind5 brings with new Low Mount operation in semi-turbulent winds. Starwind5’s new hybrid design of both Darrieus and Savonius features in a low cost, highly durable H-Frame form have created a new baseline , changing the playing field of small wind for the better. New more efficient and reliable rotor aerodynamics, rapid wake dispersion and more torque at lower rpm are the hallmark features of the Starwind5 responsible for delivering the key financial benefit everyone has been seeking from small wind power for a very long time, namely significantly more annual power for the same or less cash outlay.
On close examination, Starwind5 costs a little more than its HAWT competitors (more blade material and housing material to produce higher solidity) before you add in tower and foundation costs. Generally a propeller HAWT Horizontal Axis Wind Turbine tower costs will be almost twice the price because all HAWTS need to absolutely be in straight winds found at 25-35% higher mount heights to operate at their promised efficiency and generate the annual kiloWatts advertised. Score 1 for Starwind5, as all of a sudden Starwind5 as a total installed solution is 10-15% cheaper.
Now let’s examine real world performance. Starwind5 uses Optiflow Savonius Scoops to correct the long standing problem all existing VAWTs have, that is inconsistent startup, and poor early power generation, which is very important in trickle charge applications in low and medium wind sites, especially in off-grid applications. More importantly the Optiflow technology found in each Starwind5 is very efficient at capturing rapid accelerations, or wind gusts, to give the Starwind5 a much more efficient Cp Coefficient of Power that is the Power produced relative to the Tip Speed Ration TSR of the turbine, meaning how fast the blades are moving versus the actual wind speed. In short, Starwind5’s higher Rotor solidity design overall, operates at lower speeds with higher torque at the same rpm compared to competitive HAWTs, which means the Starwind5 can rotate 25-35% larger generators in the same wind speed wind and generate 25% to 35% more power. One might ask how an that be, as the turbine in general appearance appears to have less surface area than the discs of HAWTs? Larger Generator Sets are cheaper per NP Nameplate Watt. Score another 1 for Starwind5. Starwind5 2, Competition 0.
The answer to Starwind5’s performance advantage is the usable sweep area found in the cylindrical Sweep Area Shape, or Egg Sweep Area Shape if you like of the Starwind5 Rotor, where one single rotor blade is working to rotate the floating shaft of the turbine 65% of it’s rotational time (roughly 235 degrees of rotation), and when combined with 4 other blades doing the same at overlapped time intervals, with each blade creating 4 lift states and 2 push states per rotation, for one complete rotation of the turbine, we can say the Starwind5 Rotor is interleaving these lift and push states to create a “30 Stroke” wind engine which never as a whole rotor system ends up in a power robbing stall state. Also the Egg Shape of the Sweep Area being 65% usable means the sweep area compares to similar height VAWTs and HAWTs is literally 25-35% larger depending on the wind speed measured!
In short if the wind changes direction rapidly, the Starwind5 Rotor is always ready to extract power immediately from the cross flow, with market leading efficiency found in the Starwind5’s long and relatively flat power curve from 2.5m/s to 24 m/s wind speeds, where the Cp of the Starwind5 reaches a peak efficiency of .43 (Betz Curve limit is .59), a market leading value by any one’s measure , and more importantly the Cp stays above .4 for a much wider range of wind speeds than any other competitor. No other competitor can match or prove this field tested claim. (see for yourself the video on http://www.gizmag.com of the R&D forerunner of Starwind5, Darwind5).
QBlade: Starwind5 Power Curve CP/TSR long and flat, always working efficiently.
Now let’s look at O & M “Operations and Maintenance” Costs, which typically are 35% of the capital costs over the useful life of today’s competitive small wind turbine systems. This is again where Starwind5 differs. Starwind5 requires no replacement blades due to wear (as is the case with leading HAWT competitors replacing blades every 6-7 years). The Starwind5 design has a useful life, minimally maintained (lubricate the bearings periodically, clean the intake and exhaust filters of the genset housing, clean the blades as needed) of 25 years. Starwind5 can be repaired easily with low material and labour costs using OTS “Off The Shelf “automotive repair and paint kits. Score 3 -0 for Starwind5. Why? Starwind5 O & M costs are only 20-25% of capital costs over the life the system, and that is a 25-38% advantage over the existing competition. nice.
The bottom line is customers buying into Starwind5 will always out produce any small wind turbine in the market today by a larger measure, 25-35%. It just takes a mindset of change to get over what a traditional wind turbine looks like, a propeller HAWT system versus Starwind5, a breakthrough hybrid Darrieus/Savonius VAWT Vertical Axis Wind Turbine design with “break through” ROI. (Which is also much quieter 14 db versus 55 to 85 db, and we are told, better looking…)
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