Many times when you think of wind turbines, you think of giant, white blades turning effortlessly in the breezes above a Midwestern farm field. But in order for wind energy to become better accepted, it’s got to be practical in the cities and suburban areas that don’t always have the winds you might see on the prairies and coastal areas.
This story from WKYC-TV in Cleveland says a 22-foot Wind Cube has made its debut in the Lake Erie Business Park in Port Clinton:
It was installed by Green Energy Technologies of Akron, which developed the device for urban areas and those in which traditional large wind turbines were not practical.
“We knew that if we were going inside the city limits or if we were going to be putting them in buildings we had to be able to amplify the wind,” Green Energy President Mark Cironi told WKYC before a ribbon-cutting at the Port Clinton plant on Monday.
“We just couldn’t take the straight ambient wind, convert it to energy, and call it a day,” he explained. Thus the concept off the Wind Cube, in which a shroud surrounding the turbine blades actually doubles the ambient wind speed.
“Doubling the wind speed with this tunnel effect actually increases energy generation by a factor of eight,” said John Fedor of MRD Solutions in Eastlake, which helped design the Wind Cube.
The device can operate at ambient wind speeds of as low as five miles per hour. Consultant David Spera, Ph.D., of DASCON Engineering says that can help keep a constant flow of power into the system.
Government officials at the ribbon-cutting ceremony say it’s because of local credits for this type of project that made it possible. One congressman even declared Northern Ohio to be the “Saudi Arabia of wind” energy.