Vertical axis wind farm turbines can be designed to be much closer together, increasing their efficiency and ultimately lowering the prices of electricity
According to the latest Global Wind Report, the world needs to triple its wind energy production over the coming decade in order to reach critical net-zero targets. While that’s a very ambitious goal, a new study demonstrates that by redesigning conventional wind turbines, we could boost their efficiency and thus their green energy output.
Coming from scientists at Oxford Brookes University, the new findings show that vertical turbine designs could make wind farms more efficient, improving their performance by as much as 15 percent.
Led by Professor Iakovos Tzanakis, the study used 11,500 hours of advanced computer modeling to compare traditional wind turbines to vertical turbines. Current wind turbine designs typically take the form of Horizontal Axis Wind Turbines (HAWTs), but the research proposes that Vertical Axis Wind Turbines (VAWTs) — which are not new to us — are more compact in design and can significantly boost efficiency.
“This study evidences that the future of wind farms should be vertical,” says Tzanakis. “Vertical axis wind farm turbines can be designed to be much closer together, increasing their efficiency and ultimately lowering the prices of electricity. In the long run, VAWTs can help accelerate the green transition of our energy systems, so that more clean and sustainable energy comes from renewable sources.”
These findings come at a crucial moment in time, when the world needs to take every opportunity it can to accelerate the transition towards a post-carbon economy. Increasing the amount of clean electricity generated by wind farms will play a key role in achieving that goal.