Cheaper wind power
A turbine design drawing on jet-engine technology reportedly could cut in half the cost of generating electricity from wind.
Wilbraham, Mass.-based FloDesign Wind Turbine reports it has developed a wind turbine that could create wind-generated electricity at half the cost of conventional turbines, according to a report on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Technology Review .
Usually, as wind approaches a turbine, approximately half of the air is forced around the blades rather than through them, and the energy in that deflected wind is lost. At best, traditional wind turbines capture only 59.3% of the energy in wind, a value called the Betz limit. By contrast, the FloDesign unit surrounds its wind-turbine blades with a shroud that directs air through the blades and speeds it up, which reportedly increases power production. Smaller blade size and other factors allow the new turbines to be packed closer together than conventional turbines, said to increase the amount of power that can be generated per acre of land.
The company reports it has built a small prototype for wind-tunnel tests and will soon begin building a 12-ft-diameter, 10-kW system for field tests, with completion anticipated by the end of next year or early in 2010.
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Annual Salary Survey
Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.
There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.
But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.
Read more: 2015 Salary Survey