According to Mass Megawatts, a company based in Worcester, Massachusetts, one of the problems with wind energy is the tall towers needed, especially in regions with lower wind speeds. So the company has developed a Multi-Axis Turbo system that consists of many small turbines instead of one big turbine. The system is modular and adaptable and can be scaled to a particular wind system’s requirements, at heights ranging from 50 to 80 feet.
In Clean Technica, Tina Casey describes the multi-axis turbo system tested in Hunter, New York in 2009 as a box-like structure composed of wind turbines connected to a generator. The drive train and generator are located at ground level. This reduces the stress from vibration, which in turn lowers the maintenance costs – 50% less than the wind power industry’s average according to Mass Megawatts.
The company claims that a tall tower wind turbine uses 10 times more steel than a multi-axis turbo system with similar capabilities. The multi-axis turbo system also uses a fraction of the number of moving parts as a tall tower. As a result, Mass Megawatts claims its system is capable of producing electricity from wind at a cost 30% lower than other equipment, making wind energy cost-competitive with energy generated by fossil fuels.
In order to further increase the efficiency and productivity of its wind turbines, Mass Megawatts has developed a patent pending wind augmenter and diverter to funnel more wind to the blades through wind focusing chambers. The company indicates that this augmentation can consistently increase the velocity of the wind stream powering the turbines by an average of 70%. This effect can result in over 3 times more power being generated.
In addition, in July 2010, Mass Megawatts announced that it had developed a “wind prism” that can be fitted in all its augmenters for the multi-axis turbo systems. The wind prism smoothes the internal sides of the augmenter, decreasing turbulence and resulting in higher wind speeds, which means more electricity generation.
As reported on PR Newswire in February 2010, Electric City Wind Power Corporation signed a $10.8 million contract with Penobscot Mountain Wind LLC for wind energy projects in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Electric City Wind Power will use the multi-axis turbo system that it manufactures under a license agreement with Mass Megawatts. Michael Walker, a managing partner of Penobscot Mountain Wind is quoted in the press release as indicating that the multi-axis turbo system allowed the project to move ahead because it is below 75 feet in height, doesn’t generate noise and doesn’t harm migratory birds. The project will also use Mass Megawatts’ augmenter system.
Mass Megawatts Continues Technological Advances; ‘Wind Prism’ Design Further Increases Output – PR Newswire
Mass Megawatt Licensee Announces $10,800,000 Contract – PR Newswire
Tina Casey, “Mass Megawatts Could Bring More Efficient Wind Power to Ski Resorts” – Clean Tech Media