Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Researchers Make Advances In Wind Energy Generation

Date:
July 19, 2005
Source:
University of Alberta
Summary:
Engineers at the University of Alberta have created a wind energy generator that they hope people will one day be able to use to power their own homes.

Engineers at the University of Alberta have created a wind energy generator that they hope people will one day be able to use to power their own homes.

"We have developed a simple, reliable, controller for small scale wind energy generators that is cheaper than competing technologies," said Dr. Andy Knight, a professor in the U of A Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and lead author of a paper on the subject published recently in IEEE Transactions on Energy Conversion.

The traditional problem with harnessing wind energy has been the high cost and the low return of energy, especially for small-scale generators, Knight explained. A particular problem is that the devices have been unable to convert any energy when winds fall below specific cut off speeds, and much energy is therefore wasted.

However, Knight's open loop control system can be built with a few, simple electronic components that are cheap and easy to find, use and repair. As well, Knight's system is able to transfer even light winds into electric energy.

Although Knight and his colleagues have not yet built anything that is ready to sell, they have designed and tested a generator that they are working to improve before they expect to apply for a patent and possibly bring it to market.

Current small-scale wind energy generators cost about $2,400 US and, on an average wind speed day, produce 5.2 kiloWatt-Hours per day, Knight said. According to Natural Resources Canada, the average household consumes between 34 and 67 kiloWatt-Hours per day.

Generally, current small-scale wind energy generators require wind speeds of at least 18 km/h to generate any power, but Knight's device could be used in low wind environments, such as the Edmonton, Alberta area, where the average wind is 10 km/h.

"But it wouldn't be something you'd put in your garden. Energy is already cheap and abundant in Edmonton, so it wouldn't be financially viable in the city," Knight said, adding that fast turning wind turbines in a small yard would create a hazard.

However, the generators could be used at remote locations outside of the city, where the power supply is more expensive and less abundant.

Based on the results of his ongoing work, Knight is hopeful that wind energy might one day become a clean, renewable, viable source of energy for everyone to use, which would counter the environmental damage occurring from our current use of fossil fuels as our main source for energy.

"My work is something that can make a small change, and it's probably a bunch of small changes here and there that will add up and one day have a big impact," he said.



Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Alberta. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Alberta. "Researchers Make Advances In Wind Energy Generation." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 July 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/07/050719002253.htm>.
University of Alberta. (2005, July 19). Researchers Make Advances In Wind Energy Generation. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/07/050719002253.htm
University of Alberta. "Researchers Make Advances In Wind Energy Generation." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/07/050719002253.htm (accessed August 1, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Friday, August 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Visitors Feel Part of the Pack at Wolf Preserve

Visitors Feel Part of the Pack at Wolf Preserve

AP (July 31, 2014) Seacrest Wolf Preserve on the northern Florida panhandle allows more than 10,000 visitors each year to get up close and personal with Arctic and British Columbian Wolves. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers

Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers

AP (July 31, 2014) With Florida's panther population rebounding, some ranchers complain the protected predators are once again killing their calves. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Napa Valley Wine Grower Survives Catastrophic California Drought

Napa Valley Wine Grower Survives Catastrophic California Drought

Reuters - US Online Video (July 31, 2014) Despite a severe drought in California, Mumm Napa's winemaker says this season's crop may be better than average thanks to well-timed spring rains. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Study Says The Moon Was Deformed Early In Its History

New Study Says The Moon Was Deformed Early In Its History

Newsy (July 31, 2014) Scientists say when the moon was young, it was deformed by the Earth's gravitational pull, which gave it a lemon-like shape. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins