Questions & Answers
+ Why will the Lux wind turbine produce more power at a lower cost?
The rotor of the Lux turbine is bigger so it extracts more power, especially at wind speeds between 4 and 10 m/s (9 and 22 mph). This is significant because the majority of power production happens between these wind speeds at most wind turbine locations. The annual kilowatt hours produced by a 2MW Lux turbine is expected to be approximately 10-20% more than most other 2MW HAWT. The Lux turbine has a lower capital cost than HAWT because it does not need a tower, a pitch system or a yaw system. The blades are easier to manufacture and a robust foundation is not required. This is why we say this turbine can produce more power at a lower cost.
+ Problems such as vibrations and torque ripple were common with past VAWT. How does the Lux wind turbine negate these issues?
The Lux turbine uses 5 or more blades instead of 2 or 3. As the blade of a VAWT rotates through one complete revolution, the relative wind direction produces torque, no torque, torque, and no torque. By using multiple blades that are supported with cross cables, this torque pattern is diminished and these problems are eliminated.
+ The Lux turbine only uses a short tower or bottom structure. Does this impair the power output because the equator is lower than the hub height of HAWT?
Although it is true that higher wind speeds are found at higher elevations, the Lux turbine still extracts more power because the rotor is larger. An expensive tower is not required to produce more power. The equator on a megawatt sized Lux turbine can be as high or higher than the hub of most HAWT of equal power rating, therefore, the Lux turbine does utilize the winds at higher elevations.
+ The Lux turbine rotates at a slower speed than other turbines of equivalent rating and will require a more expensive gearbox or direct drive generator. How does this turbine deal with this issue?
First of all, a slower rotating rotor with vertical blades may be easier for birds to see and therefore easier to avoid. We use a Traction Drive system that is similar to the well-proven technology of the locomotive and rail system where steel wheels transfer 6000HP to the steel rails. Our steel on steel Traction Drive is low cost and increases the output shaft speed without using an expensive gearbox. The hydraulic pump using cylinders is also an excellent low cost method for extracting power from a slow rotating output shaft.
+ HAWT must be spaced at large distances from each other to avoid interference. Do the Lux turbines need the same spacing?
Researchers such as Dr. Dabiri at Stanford University have developed computer models and experimented with as many as 18 VAWT in various configurations. They believe that counter rotating VAWT placed in close proximity can extract 10 times more power from a given area of land than can HAWT. More research is required in this area but most people believe turbines like the Lux turbine can be spaced much closer together.
+ Can the Lux turbine operate offshore?
It is an excellent candidate for offshore use because of its very low center of gravity and lightweight. Instead of having the heavy gearbox, nacelle, generator and blades positioned high above the water level it is much easier to float or stabilize a lightweight rotor and have the heavier components such as the Traction Drive, generator and support structure near water level. Also, the components that require maintenance are at water level.