The Winga E-Generator - Frequently Asked Questions
- Is this a radically new
Yes and no. The Winga E-Generator is
a venturi-assisted wind turbine. The performance of the venturi is well
known and the basic principles were established by the Swiss scientist
Daniel Bernoulli around 1850. Its performance using water is very largely
documented as its main application has been liquid flow measurement.
Generating electrical power through wind energy is a recent development.
OrganoWorld is the first company to use the venturi principle to generate
electricity from lower wind speeds.
- There are 40 major wind
turbine suppliers, why encourage the Winga E-Generator?
The Winga E-Generator has huge advantages
over the existing 3-bladed turbines in that it can operate competitively
at low wind speeds and is much less site dependant. For example, the
Winga E-Generator could be installed within the city limits of San Francisco
and supply power to the city. Located closer to the power consumer,
there is less electric power transmission loss and the Winga E-Generator
can be installed by itself in the place of a wind farm.
- Is the Winga E-Generator cheaper
than the existing 3-bladed turbine?
The Winga E-Generator is not cheaper based
on the number of MW installed, however the energy produced per MWh is
much cheaper. This contradiction comes from the fact that at low wind
speeds when the 3-bladed turbine is not yet turning a Winga E-Generator is
at full power. A 2.0 MW 3-bladed turbine may produce its rated energy
at high wind speeds but at low wind speeds it produces no energy at
all. As a result its utilisation factor is in the 35-38% range. A Silver
Eagle operates with a utilisation factor of over 80%.
- Is there an advantage to
the Winga E-Generator in the context of the Smart Grid?
Most definitely as the Winga E-Generator can
supply distributed power to the Smart Grid 80% of the time and this
will substantially reduce the supply side cost of the Smart Grid. Much
of the North American electrical network has aged to the point that
it requires replacement. At the same time new sources of zero emission
energy are desperately required. The fact that power is available 80%
of the time opens the door to using low technology battery storage to
decrease the peak load on the network. As such the size and cost of
replacing the entire existing infrastructure will decrease substantially
and most particularly on the transmission and supply side which are
huge and expensive problems.
- Is this a Diffuser Augmented Wind Turbine (DAWT)?
No, this is a venturi assisted wind turbine.
A venturi uses a convergent to build up air velocity followed by a ducted
tunnel or throat followed by a divergent that pulls the air through
the throat. The air pressure built up cannot escape around the edge
of the turbine blades located in the throat as is the case with a DAWT.
The increase in the wind velocity or the pressure differential that
can be built up with a venturi is many times that of a DAWT. Any DAWT
will outperform a 3 bladed wind turbine, and a venturi design will outperform
- Are you using the same
rotor as a DAWT?
No, a DAWT invariably uses a three bladed
turbine rotor where much of the wind passes through the area closest
to the shaft and this generates little torque. We use an annular rotor
that directs the air flow to the outer most circumferences of the rotor
blades and this increases the torque produced.
- Why are the convergent
and divergent so large, can they be made smaller?
The convergent and divergent can be any
size, however the smaller their size the smaller the amount of energy
produced and the higher the cost of the energy produced. The units are
sized to be cheaper than wind energy from a three bladed turbine and
to be competitive with electricity from coal. We are targeting the utility-scale
market and for all wind turbines this involves converting the wind energy
contained in the swept area. For the 3 bladed turbines this is the swept
area of the rotor, for the Winga E-Generator it is the surface area of discharge
of the divergent.
- Can the Winga E-Generator turbine
survive extreme weather conditions?
Yes, as the wind speeds increase the
walls of the convergent and divergent progressively retract. The wind
turbine itself can withstand hurricane force winds but because of flying
debris it will be shut down and the brake applied.
- How much confidence do
we have in the results obtained to date?
We have a very high level of confidence
in the applied technology we use. Engineers fully understand how a venturi
works and its effect on the velocity of the fluid flowing through it.
Our work is simply to understand the parameters that influence its performance
to obtain the best performance possible using wind as the fluid.
The performance of the rotor is simulated
using the same technologies or software that would be used to design
the wings of a new airplane. The basic principal is that of lift resulting
from the flow of air around an airfoil. This aeronautical technology
is very well documented and the degree of confidence in the result is
very high. In fact, the confidence is as high as for any manufacturer
designing an aircraft.
- Your rotor turns at much
higher speed won't this make for a noisier turbine than a three blade
No, the Winga E-Generator makes very little
noise. The whoof of the three bladed turbines are generated when the
blades pass in front of the mast. In the Winga E-Generator the turbine blades
are enclosed in a housing and rotate noiselessly.
- If the Winga E-Generator generates
more energy why can we not simply install more or bigger three bladed
turbines to get the same result?
The Winga E-Generator was designed to operate
in areas where the wind speed is too low to operate a three bladed turbine.
At 4 meters/second, a wind speed available around many densely populated
areas of North America it would take 75 to 100 three blade turbines
to produce the equivalent energy of 1 Winga E-Generator.
- Where in the urban environment
would you envisage installing these turbines if 1000 MW of energy were
Our preferred location is on the right
of way of existing divided roadways that already connect urban areas.
Essentially the turbine could be installed on a light structural roof
over the roadway. As an alternative the Winga E-Generator can be installed
in a parking lot, a vacant lot or on the roofs of office buildings or
- What is the status of
the Winga E-Generator?
We are approaching industrial partners,
Venture Capitalists and several levels of government for funding to
build a small, working prototype for wind tunnel testing. An aluminum
smelter has signed a letter of interest to buy a full-size prototype
that would follow. We are now looking for strategic industrial or institutional
investors who want to develop the future Smart grid using distributed
zero emission wind energy as the supply source.