Wind energy has been a buzzword in sustainable energy circles for decades. Even though a lot of progress has been made, wind energy faces a number of obstacles: wind turbines create significant noise, they are not ideal for the urban environment, they generate vibration, and most significantly, wind power can be highly variable by virtue of its source, presenting a substantial challenge to incorporating large amounts of wind power into a grid system. Nowhere is this last concern more relevant than in Israel, where a day’s significant winds can be followed by weeks of no movement. To solve this problem, one Israeli company has developed a unique form of wind turbine which not only reduces vibration and noise production, but works effectively and efficiently in areas (around the world) which are plagued by inconsistent wind patterns.
SmartWind, established in 2009 by Andrey Kotler, has developed the innovative “Vertical Axis Wind Turbine”. The technology, which introduces a form of “Active Flow Control” to the traditional wind power process, adapts turbines for operation in weak and irregular wind flow conditions, while guaranteeing high performance. In addition to significantly reduced noise and vibration, the company’s rotor technology provides the means to enhance overall turbine efficiency within a wider range of low wind velocity areas, compensating for the intermittency of wind in such locations. These advantages are particularly important for urban environments, where the aforementioned challenges of wind power have left many a project stuck at inception.
The continued development of technology such as SmartWind‘s is essential to the proliferation of wind energy the world over. As innovative and flexible wind technology becomes increasingly available, utilities, and even individuals, throughout the globe will be more willing to give this form of sustainable energy a real shot.