How Does A “Spinning” Wind Turbine Work?
Sep 19 2018 Read 1552 Times
2018’s UK Dyson Award winner is an innovative, cost-effective wind turbine that is powered by wind travelling in multiple directions. O-Wind, created by Nicolas Orellana and Yaseen Noorani offers a truly unique take on traditional wind power generation.
In our previous posts, we have looked at the potential cons of traditional wind farms and how O-Wind aims to combat these negatives. But, we are still left with some unanswered questions. How does this invention work? Is it practical for actual use? What are the long-term plans? Keep reading to find out…
How does O-Wind work?
O-Wind is unique in that it makes use of both horizontal and vertical winds, without the need for steering. The spherical shape has a single axis of rotation going through it, meaning that it can be used for small-scale energy production by individual residents. Those living in apartments or flats, for instance, could fix a turbine outside a balcony to generate sustainable energy.
Scientifically, the turbine makes use of Bernoulli’s principle, which states that the increase in the speed of a fluid occurs simultaneously with a decrease in the fluid’s potential energy. To utilise this equation, O-Wind’s structure is lined with vents that have large entrances and smaller exits for the air to pass through.
So, when the wind blows, it creates a difference in the pressure between the entrance and exit, causing the turbine to spin.
In the same way that traditional turbines work, the rotation of the system is used to power a generator that can produce electricity, that can then be used to power homes or even fed into the national grid. This, combined with the smaller set-up costs, makes the O-Wind financially beneficial for users and could even improve a given region’s sustainable energy production.
In principle, O-Wind sounds great. But, what are the long-term plans and goals for Orellana and Noorani? They have the basis and the recognition that their product is impressive, so what next?
Firstly, specialised facilities have been made available at their university in Lancaster for their continued studies. The aim? To make science more accessible and inclusive, with the intention of optimising its performance with further prototyping and testing.
Long-term, this technology could be used for both on and off-grip alternatives to energy generation, being of particular use for motor homes, boats and other stand-alone applications.
All in all, O-Wind is an exciting and innovative alternative to traditional, less sustainable energy options. Take a look at our previous Dyson Award posts and discover more about the award itself, past winners and the inspiration behind the inventions. Our final post will summarise everything you need to know about the award and winners.
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