Hi-Q Rotor - Low Wind Speed Technology

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The project objective was to optimize the performance of the Hi-Q Rotor. Early research funded by the California Energy Commission indicated the design might be advantageous over state-of-the-art turbines for collecting wind energy in low wind conditions. The Hi-Q Rotor is a new kind of rotor targeted for harvesting wind in Class 2, 3, and 4 sites, and has application in areas that are closer to cities, or 'load centers.' An advantage of the Hi-Q Rotor is that the rotor has non-conventional blade tips, producing less turbulence, and is quieter than standard wind turbine blades which is critical to the ... continued below

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Mills, Todd E. & Tatum, Judy January 11, 2010.

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Description

The project objective was to optimize the performance of the Hi-Q Rotor. Early research funded by the California Energy Commission indicated the design might be advantageous over state-of-the-art turbines for collecting wind energy in low wind conditions. The Hi-Q Rotor is a new kind of rotor targeted for harvesting wind in Class 2, 3, and 4 sites, and has application in areas that are closer to cities, or 'load centers.' An advantage of the Hi-Q Rotor is that the rotor has non-conventional blade tips, producing less turbulence, and is quieter than standard wind turbine blades which is critical to the low-wind populated urban sites. Unlike state-of-the-art propeller type blades, the Hi-Q Rotor has six blades connected by end caps. In this phase of the research funded by DOE's Inventions and Innovation Program, the goal was to improve the current design by building a series of theoretical and numeric models, and composite prototypes to determine a best of class device. Development of the rotor was performed by aeronautical engineering and design firm, DARcorporation. From this investigation, an optimized design was determined and an 8-foot diameter, full-scale rotor was built and mounted using a Bergey LX-1 generator and furling system which were adapted to support the rotor. The Hi-Q Rotor was then tested side-by-side against the state-of-the-art Bergey XL-1 at the Alternative Energy Institute's Wind Test Center at West Texas State University for six weeks, and real time measurements of power generated were collected and compared. Early wind tunnel testing showed that the cut-in-speed of the Hi-Q rotor is much lower than a conventional tested HAWT enabling the Hi-Q Wind Turbine to begin collecting energy before a conventional HAWT has started spinning. Also, torque at low wind speeds for the Hi-Q Wind Turbine is higher than the tested conventional HAWT and enabled the wind turbine to generate power at lower wind speeds. Based on the data collected, the results of our first full-scale prototype wind turbine proved that higher energy can be captured at lower wind speeds with the new Hi-Q Rotor. The Hi-Q Rotor is almost 15% more productive than the Bergey from 6 m/s to 8 m/s, making it ideal in Class 3, 4, and 5 wind sites and has application in the critical and heretofore untapped areas that are closer to cities, 'load centers,' and may even be used directly in urban areas. The additional advantage of the Hi-Q Rotor's non-conventional blade tips, which eliminates most air turbulence, is noise reduction which makes it doubly ideal for populated urban areas. Hi-Q Products recommends one final stage of development to take the Hi-Q Rotor through Technology Readiness Levels 8-9. During this stage of development, the rotor will be redesigned to further increase efficiency, match the rotor to a more suitable generator, and lower the cost of manufacturing by redesigning the structure to allow for production in larger quantities at lower cost. Before taking the rotor to market and commercialization, it is necessary to further optimize the performance by finding a better generator and autofurling system, ones more suitable for lower wind speeds and rpms should be used in all future testing. The potential impact of this fully developed technology will be the expansion and proliferation of energy renewal into the heretofore untapped Class 2, 3, 4, and 5 Wind Sites, or the large underutilized sites where the wind speed is broken by physical features such as mountains, buildings, and trees. Market estimates by 2011, if low wind speed technology can be developed are well above: 13 million homes, 675,000 commercial buildings, 250,000 public facilities. Estimated commercial exploitation of the Hi-Q Rotor show potential increase in U.S. energy gained through the clean, renewable wind energy found in low and very low wind speed sites. This new energy source would greatly impact greenhouse emissions as well as the public sector's growing energy demands.

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6.39 MB

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  • Report No.: DOE/GO/16046-1
  • Grant Number: FG36-06GO16046
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 971423
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc925882

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

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  • January 11, 2010

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Nov. 13, 2016, 7:26 p.m.

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Mills, Todd E. & Tatum, Judy. Hi-Q Rotor - Low Wind Speed Technology, report, January 11, 2010; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc925882/: accessed October 17, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.