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Darrieus Wind Turbines

Darrieus Wind Turbines

Darrieus wind turbines are unlike many other similar wind generators on the market and has captured so much attention since its invention.

 Wind is a driving force behind guiding ships and permitting airplanes to fly in the air. 
Darrieus Wind Turbines
Darrieus wind turbines in action

While wind energy is relatively clean and free from any pollutants only 1-percent of wind energy is actually utilized by the to power the grid.

Darrieus wind turbines have been considered as an alternative means of resolving the growing issue of global warming and energy independence. The main rotor shaft in a Darrieus Wind Turbine runs vertically and its design dates back to the year 1972. Georges Jean Marie Darrieus presented this design in 1972 with an aim of providing a suitable alternate source of energy to the global population.

The Functionality

The Darrieus wind turbine contains a gear box which can be placed next to the generator and there is no need for another mechanism to run the machine. Alternatively termed, the lift-type vertical axis turbine, the Darrieus Wind Turbine is powered by lift forces which helps it function effectively regardless of the win direction.

With the aid of airfoils, the turbine can generate speeds which are far greater than the actual speed of the wind. This helps in generating electric power. When the airfoils move in the direction of the air, an angle of attack is created by the air flow which provides a positive torque to the turbine’s shaft and helps in spinning the wheels at a greater speed. The energy thus generated is converted into electricity.

The Modifications

Darrieus wind turbines have undergone several modifications in the past. For starters, its eggbeater design has been replaced with a giromill design, which permits vertical blades to be connected to the central tower. While this design is cheaper in comparison, the rotor blades are unable to maintain a steady rotational rate.

The Cycloturbine is the second design modification which permits mounting of blades over the central axis. This allows the angle of attack to become self starting. Mariah Power has designed the latest alteration to the original Darrieus wind turbine. Termed as Windspire, this design is sleeker and more efficient in comparison and starts at just $6,500 USD per unit. This design is ideal for hotels, numerous commercial settings and even for home use.

The Global Application

The Darrieus Wind Turbine as well as the eggbeater design turbines is still functional yet most of them are being merely utilized to prolong the overall life of the concerned turbine. The Eole is considered to be the largest turbine and it is located in Cap-Chat, Quebec. It has a length of 100 meters and stands 60 meters in width. A smaller turbine standing 42 meters in length and 34 meters in width is located in the Sandia Laboratory, Texas. Darrieus wind turbines were also promoted by the FloWind Corporation located in California before the organization filed bankruptcy.

The Scope of Research

It is a well known fact that the original Darrieus wind turbine when it was first invented was not effective in generating electric power in a suitable manner, nonetheless, it proved to be the benchmark for initiating research and development purposes with special regards to turbines located throughout the world. Apparently, time and resources would need to be invested in developing the technology to ensure that the Darrieus wind turbine design is utilized and maximized as a suitable alternate energy resource.