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Airborne wind turbine generates electricity
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Airborne wind turbine generates electricity

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The world demand for using renewable energy sources has increased in the recent years. Wind energy that is one of these renewable sources in turn has received good amount of consideration. So many researcher and designers have paid a lot of effort to come up with new wind turbine design that is more efficient and suits site climate.

It is well known that UAE is located at the low wind speed region of earth (tropical climate). Due to this low wind speed profile, the conventional wind turbines are not the wise choice for harvesting wind energy in UAE.  It is also well known that as the altitude increases the wind speed increases. The average wind speed in UAE near the ground is ranging from 3-4 m/s, however the wind speed in the same place at height of 100m is ranging from 7-9 m/s.

A group of the University of Sharjah / Sustainable and Renewable Energy Engineering students: Noha Diab, Somaya Esmat, Yusra Ba Matraf under the supervision of Dr. Salih Akour came up with new design for wind turbine that can suit such tropical climate. The new design is airborne wind turbine that is proposed through the phase 1 of their senior design project. This type of turbines is a tool that has recently evolved to solve the ever-increasing energy demands of the world that the traditional wind turbines could not efficiently address specially in the regions that have low average wind speed.

The students analyzed the wind speed data for the past five years.  Based on the analysis an alternative wind energy system is presented.  Wind turbine blade airfoil has been chosen to suit UAE climate. The wind power is harvested by using well-designed Airborne Wind Turbine. Software package is utilized to obtain the optimum design of the turbine. In the 2nd phase of their senior design project, a prototype is going be manufactured and verified experimental.

An airborne wind turbine is a design concept for a wind turbine with a rotor supported in the air without a tower, thus benefiting from more mechanical and aerodynamic options like, the higher speed and persistence of wind at high altitudes.

In this project, an airborne wind turbine is proposed as a new high-altitude wind power system. This technique is generally simpler and more stable despite the fact that the rotor and electrical generator are situated inside the inflatable cylindrical shell. The round shaped rotor adjusts itself to the wind stream direction. The shell is filled with helium gas which is light in weight to produces the necessary lift force to fly the whole system. The turbine system is hooked to a ground station by tether line to hold it in place.

The proposed design is environment friendly i.e., the wind energy which is clean source of energy will be harvested to generate electricity. It is also cost-effective in the long term compared to the conventional wind turbines.











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