Researchers at the University of Groningen have received a 1 million euro grant for the project
The University of Groningen has seen promising results with new wind turbine design, with efficiency increases of up to 25% possible. The researchers have been given a grant of 1 million euros to support their research.
Prof. Eize Stamhuis, researcher at the Energy and Sustainability Research Institute Groningen (ESRIG) , together with industrial partners EmpowerMi and RG-projecten, has received the grant from the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate. The grant is for the modification and testing of a wind turbine according to “Stamhuis’s Albatrozz principle”, says the University.
This existing wind turbine located in the Noordoostpolder will have blades with partially oscillating ends. The research and testing on a commercial-scale wind turbine (850 kW) will take approximately two years. With the special oscillating blades, an efficiency increase of 5 to 25% at low wind speeds is envisaged. This unique technological concept can therefore have a major impact on making energy management more sustainable.
Large seabirds such as albatrosses have difficulties coping with low wind speeds, for example during landing, and their evolved solution to this problem has been the inspiration for the project. Their wings are too long to flap harder or differently, but to compensate for that they let their wings wiggle around their longitudinal axes (oscillation). Due to this oscillation, the airflow over the wing almost separates from the wing surface, but at the same time yields higher upwards forces. Before the airflow completely separates, the wing ‘wiggles’ back to its normal position.
Photo by Tom Corser www.tomcorser.com. Image via Wikimedia. License here.