New Geometries In Wind Turbine Design
The recent World Future Energy Summit held in Abu Dhabi, January 19-21, 2009 was probably one of the best places in the world to view the current progress regarding commercial applications of new sustainable energy products. One of the unique concepts on display was the NHEOLIS NT 100 wind turbine from NHEOLIS SAS. The company is located in Marseille, France, and their wind turbine's blade design is clearly three dimensional for wind its wind energy capture.
What makes the NHEOLIS wind turbine interesting is that the blade design of their turbine rotor blade captures more swept wind energy than a conventional wind turbine blade design, and hence, the NHEOLIS is ideal for home generation applications or for small businesses. NHEOLIS claim that one of the distinguishing characteristics of their wind turbine is that it can operate in very low and very high wind speed conditions of 2.5 m/s (9 km/h) to 45 m/s (162 km/h). The model shown in the photograph is the NHELOIS NT 100 36/9 and this produces a nominal power of 2.5 kW to 3.5 kW, which is ideal for home application for electricity production.
The NHEOLIS NT 100 has three blades with a 3-D rotor diameter of 1 m to 2.3 m (39.4 in to 90.6 in). The weight of the blades is 21 kg (46.2 lbs). The NT 100 can be mounted on either a mast or on a roof top and NHEOLIS says one of the benefits of this design is its very low noise of 35 dbA in wind speeds of 12 m/s.
Currently, the prototype versions of the NHEOLIS NT 100 use carbon fiber / carbon / epoxy for the blade design, but NHEOLIS says their R&D department is exploring the use of other materials, so that the unit cost of the turbine can be reduced in price. Currently, ONERA, the French Aerospace Research Centre, is conducting computer numerical modeling studies on the potential for scaling up the NHEOLIS wind turbine design to very large scale versions to see if the blade profile would work in a version that was significantly larger.