Investor Information

 

Work to date on the Lux Wind Turbine has been personally carried out and funded by Mr. Glen Lux B.E.

This funding and level of effort has enabled completion of the basic design. The next steps in the development of the Lux Wind Turbine are to model and finalize remaining aspects of the design, test and validate other novel aspects of the system (such as the hydraulic pump and traction drive), and build and test a 100kw turbine for certification purposes.

Lux Wind Power is exploring government grant and private investment options to fund the activities of the next steps. The company is also exploring, and is open to proposals for, co-development and licensing of the technology.

For information regarding potential investment in Lux Wind Power or to explore co-development/licensing opportunities, please go to the "Contact" page for contact information.

Global Demand

 

Global electricity demand is increasing twice as fast as overall energy use and is expected to increase by more than 60% over the next 25 years. The traditional energy options, oil, coal, hydro and nuclear are all non-renewable and come with environmental price tags that are far too high. Some of these energy sources are contributing to the climbing CO2 levels that are affecting global climate and increasing ocean levels and must be reduced.

The energy available from the wind has been harnessed on a large scale for the past 30 years and is capable of providing a substantial percentage of the global electricity requirement. The drawback with wind energy has been that it costs substantially more than traditional energy sources and large scale production has only been economically viable with subsidization.

By 2020, the IEA’s New Policies Scenario suggests that total capacity would reach 587 GW, supplying about 6% of global electricity; but the GWEO Moderate scenario suggests that this could reach 759 GW, supplying 7.7-8.3% of global electricity supply. The Advanced scenario suggests that with the right policy support wind power could reach more than 1,100 GW by 2020, supplying between 11.7-12.6% of global electricity, and saving nearly 1.7 billion tons of CO2 emissions. [Global Wind Energy Outlook 2012]

Based on the most conservative estimate of an additional 300GW of wind turbine capacity at an estimated average cost for a LUX wind turbine of $1,000/kilowatt, the market is approximately $300 billion for new wind turbine installations.

There is also an emerging market for wind turbines that are expiring and need replacing. Reports are indicating that the original 20-year life expectancy is optimistic and that 12-15 years is more realistic. Based on this, over the next 15 years all of the wind turbines currently operating will need to be replaced. Based on an estimated cost for a LUX wind turbine of $1,000/kilowatt, this market is approximately $280 billion. It should also be noted that each conventional wind turbine can be replaced with up to 10 LUX wind turbines on the same amount of land, increasing the potential market for LUX turbines substantially. LUX wind turbines are advantageous in other markets as well. Once momentum is building in the wind farm market, other applications will be considered.

Levelized Cost Of Energy

 

The Coefficient of Power (Cp) measures the efficiency of the turbine and equates to the amount of energy extracted divided by the total amount of energy in the wind.  Even though the Cp of a HAWT is higher than the Cp of a VAWT (about 50% versus 45%) this should not be the main factor when evaluating the two types of wind turbines.  The most accurate evaluation tool is the Levelized Cost of Electricity or Energy (LCOE), which is the sum of all the costs over a lifetime divided by the sum of all the revenue from the electricity produced over a lifetime.  The Lux wind turbine is expected to have ½ the LCOE as a HAWT for the following reasons.  

First, I will compare the expected power output through the lifetime of the turbine.  The last 50 KW prototype that I built was in operation from February 2014 to March 2016 after which I took it down to build the rotor without guy cables.  IOPARA in Montreal, did an aerodynamic analysis of the rotor using their CARDAAV software program.  The mechanical (shaft output) power curve they created was similar to the data collected from the prototype.

If we take the data from the curve in red and multiply this by 100 the power curve would be for a 5 MW wind turbine.  Obviously the blades would have a larger chord length and the Reynolds Number would be higher yielding a higher coefficient of lift, a lower coefficient of drag and a higher power output, but for comparison purposes let’s assume the power output is directly proportional.  The chart below shows this curve with the NREL 5 MW Reference Turbine http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy09osti/38060.pdf page 32.

It is clear the scaled up 50 KW turbine would extract more power than the NREL reference turbine through a 20-year lifetime, in fact it is close to doubling the power output.

Second, the total cost for all the materials of the 50 KW prototype rotor, which replaces the blades, hub, tower, foundation, yaw and pitch systems on a HAWT, was $6,500 US or $130/KW, which did not include any volume based discounts or assembly costs.  If we assume these components on a HAWT cost 50% of the total cost of $1,200/KW US than these costs are $600/KW.  The $130/$600 cost reduction is only valid if the cost/KW does not increase as the turbine increases in size.

The Institute of Aerospace Research, a branch of the National Research Council of Canada (NRC), in Ottawa, used computer models to analyze a 1 MW Lux wind turbine.  Both the 50 KW and the 1 MW turbines used an aluminum blade with a 1/8-inch thickness.  The figure below, from the NRC report, shows the maximum stresses expected at various wind speeds.  If the stresses were multiplied by a factor of 4 (a comfortable safety factor) according to the report, the life expectancy of the blades would still be 62 years.  It is clear the 1/8-inch thick blades on the 1 MW turbine could be made with thinner material. 

If we assume the materials are scalable, since the blade thickness does not increase, the rotor material costs would still be $130/KW US.  Since the life expectancy of the blades, with a safety factor of 4 is beyond the 20-year period, this $130/KW value could be applied to larger turbines as well but at some point the material thickness would need to be increased. 

These are some of the reasons why I believe in the ½ LCOE theory but there are a few more things to consider.  Look closer at a few basic engineering principles to compare the two types of wind turbines.  HAWT use cantilevered blades and a cantilevered tower, which means, each of the blades and tower are supported only at one end.  This is similar to sweeping a floor with one hand at the end of the broom stick.  Engineers avoid using cantilevers wherever possible because cantilevers require more material.  Structures that require the least amount of material are supported in several places.  This basic principle can be seen in nature and the majority of products built by mankind.    

In contrast, the multiple (six or more) Lux wind turbine blades are supported at each end and cables are attached at various positions along the blades entire length.  This fully supported system is in direct contrast to the cantilevered blades and tower of the HAWT.  The cables cross each other and when looking from the top down, each cable forms a hexagon, which is close to a circular shape.  This shape ensures that the aerodynamic drag from the rotating cables is kept to a minimum.  The cross cables and blades create a rigid structure similar to the shape of a football.  This structure is also similar to the geodesic dome, which popularized the slogan “doing more with less”.

The forward-looking material presented here may not be the proof needed by everyone in the wind industry but if we are serious about lowering the cost of wind energy it cannot be discounted without further investigation.  I have invested time and money to bring it this far but I need help to go further.  I have the support of many scientists around the world but I need a partner or organizations willing to continue the research and development.  I am also willing to license the technology to companies that show an interest for further research and development.    

 

Centre Of Gravity Analysis

Consider the rotor and nacelle of the 5MW wind turbine referenced by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy09osti/38060.pdf.  The blades, hub and nacelle, including the mechanical and electrical components have a weight of 350,000 kg (770,000 pounds).   The position of the nacelle is 90 meters (295 feet) above the ground mounted on top of a tower.  Building a tower and foundation to keep the rotor and nacelle in this position is an unnecessary cost, especially when comparing it to the Lux wind turbine, which has all the mechanical and electric components at ground level.  In addition to this, the entire 350,000 kg must be turned as the wind changes direction.  The Lux wind turbine does not need to be turned into the wind because it will accept wind from all direction, including wind direction other than horizontal.  Companies today are putting 6-8 MW HAWT wind turbines offshore in water up to 60 meters (200 feet) deep and on floating platforms.  We believe our turbine, with a lower center of gravity, is better suited for offshore locations.