Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Multi-rotor Wind: More Torque, More Power

Multiple rotors on the same shaft can provide higher torque. Torque and power are related by the equation:

Inventor Doug Selsam has devised a way to put multiple turbines on the same shaft, without having the turbines interfere with each other's wind.
Of course, more rotors also means more-complicated physics. The key to increasing efficiency is to make sure each rotor catches its own fresh flow of wind and not just the wake from the one next to it, as previous multi-rotor turbines have done. That requires figuring out the optimal angle for the shaft in relation to the wind and the ideal spacing between the rotors. The payoff is machines that use one tenth the blade material of today’s megaturbines yet produce the same wattage. __PS_via__NextEnergyNews
Selsam is the type of inventor who is not afraid to go up against conventional wisdom. Even better, his ideas make a lot of sense.

The image at top is just an artist's conception. The shaft would not actually bend in Selsam's device.

A flexible shaft loses a great deal of power by flexing. If a shaft could be made that is both strong enough and light enough in weight to double as a "tether" and a multi-turbine shaft, you may see attempts at multi-turbine "kite" configurations, or multi-turbine lighter than air configurations, as suggested by the image at top.



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