You Shouldn’t! (until you’ve looked at the evidence)
If you are well informed about sustainable energy you know that VAWT history is a morass of failed technologies and questionable ethics. There is no question that some VAWT’s showed promise (see USA Gov NREL Labs “a VAWT retrospective ), collecting energy competitively with the best HAWT’s of the time (above 40% or Cp 0.4). However the VAWT’s which were good at collecting energy (Darius, helical, troposkein, and straight) had severe durability issues. The long thin blades effective aerodynamics required were not comparable with the rapidly reversing stresses, and numerous resonant cycles. The durable ones didn’t collect enough energy to be worth while (Savionius, wind tunnel tested to +/- 20% (Cp 0.2) efficiency but only seemed to reach 5% in real world).
The ART turbine may not be quite as efficient as the best HAWT systems in terms of energy captured per swept area, however it is much more durable, is low cost to construct, is suitable for very high energy environments, and is tolerant of turbulence and flow direction changes. It is also silent, and doesn’t seem to interfere with wildlife (but needs systematic testing).
With a history like this, why should I bother thinking about VAWTs?
Because substantial wind resources are untapped by conventional HAWT turbines. Conventional wind turbines are amazing, however existing wind turbine technology isn’t a good fit for the majority of the worlds highest energy wind sites. Mountainous, Urban and other sites are not good fits for conventional HAWT’s, as well, noise, visual issues, and wildlife concerns limit HAWT’s installations even in the terrain available. Look at a global wind resource map, and you will see the highest energy terrain are mountains, impossible sites for conventional turbines. To function effectively and in the long term conventional HAWT turbines require winds passing through their rotor swept area must be very consistent in direction, and velocity, with low turbulence. Rapid changes in wind direction, or significant turbulence, can damage or even destroy a conventional wind turbine.
As well, the worlds largest untapped sustainable resource, Hydro Kinetic power, with at least 15000MW available in north america, desperately needs a device that will survive in energy dense turbulent water. Hydro Kinetic power is extracting energy from moving water, without dams. The resource is well assessed, however many HAWT turbines have failed due to rapid shifting flow directions and turbulence. My turbine design is not as sensitive to turbulence, or flow direction changes.
As an independent technology developer, getting outside validation is key to ensuring I am on the right track. I have worked with a number of professionals in an attempt to validate progress.
The first review came from Dr. Brian Kirke, a Queensland University professor who’s principle focus has been VAWT’s, especially as they relate to use in water. Brian was a principle in a Kinetic Hydro company, and after reviewing the technology they wanted to become involved. Below is a link to a .pdf letter from him about the turbine
DSA (Dynamic Systems Analysis) conduced some of our first hydro tests with us. Ryan had worked with Dr. Kirke previously. At this point we acquired a sophisticated data logging system, however we had some issues with it.
I’ve got a lot more to add here, but not today…