Introducing the Spinning Wind Turbine - Winner of the 2018 UK Dyson Award
Sep 22 2018 Read 1113 Times
You’re probably already aware that the winner of the UK Dyson Award for 2018 has been announced. As the winning design was a ‘spinning’ wind turbine, we have dedicated an entire series to the news. If you haven’t already, be sure to check out our previous posts about the award, including how the turbine works and a rundown of some of the past winners.
Don’t worry if you haven’t caught up with the news. This post will give you a complete overview of all the important information.
The UK Dyson Award
First things first, what actually is the award? With winners dating back to 2007, the Dyson Award has helped to fund and recognise countless innovative designs. Students and recent graduates of engineering and design can enter the competition, with the potential to win prize money towards the evolution of their product design.
The winner of the UK Dyson Award is among other winners from 27 countries across the globe. Those securing first place are then shortlisted to the final stage, where James Dyson himself selects an overall winner of the James Dyson Award.
James Dyson, probably best known for his vacuum cleaners, is the man behind the idea. Run by the James Dyson Foundation, the overall aim of the award it to get young people excited about engineering.
Previous winning products from the UK include MOM, the inflatable incubator for developing countries and refugee camps and Automist, the built-in water sprinklers for extinguishing kitchen fires.
Those that claimed the top prize in this year’s competition are two students from Lancaster University. Nicolas Orellana and Yaseen Noorani, inspired by NASA’s flawed Mars Tumbleweed rover, created an omnidirectional, single-axis wind turbine.
The O-Wind turbine uses both horizontal and vertical winds, without requiring any steering. The new turbine offers all the advantages of traditional wind turbines, without the added costs and restrictions. Wind farms, generally, need to be located in the countryside, where wind is found in abundance. Orellana and Noorani designed O-Wind to counteract this issue, with a smaller size and ‘spinning’ system, allowing it to be used almost anywhere.
How does O-Wind work?
Bernoulli’s principle is the main scientific theory behind the turbine. The principal states that with an increase in the speed of a fluid, comes a decrease in the fluid’s potential energy.
Making use of this theory, O-Wind is lined with vents that have large entrances and smaller exits for air to pass through. These vents create a difference in pressure when wind is passed through, causing the turbine to spin.
In the same way as traditional wind turbines, when the system rotates, it is used to power a generator that can produce electricity. This electricity can then be used to power homes and other stand-alone applications, or even can be fed into the national grid to fuel towns and cities.
Extending the benefits
The innovative design of O-Wind, combined with it’s lower start-up costs makes this a viable option for powering apartments, motor homes and boats. Orellana and Noorani have successfully created a product that can bring the benefits of wind power into the heart of cities, rather than being limited to rural areas.
To find out more about opportunities for students and professionals to network and discuss the latest research, take a look at our update on the Gas Analysis and Sensing Group – a UK-based technology association that acts as a forum for everyone interested in gas detection.
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