•CLEANTECH CONCEPTS: Wind Harvesting Funnel Takes On Turbines

When it comes to harnessing wind for energy, Dr. Daryoush Allaei, a Purdue-trained Minnesota engineer and founder of SheerWind, thinks the industry is looking at the problem the wrong way. Current wind turbines are really only an optimized step beyond the old sail based windmills of Europe, passively waiting for the appropriate wind.

Instead, if the objective is power from wind, why not accelerate the wind for use in areas where turbines won’t work? Additionally, since conventional wind turbines kill approximately 573,000 birds annually, according to a 2015 Wildlife Society bulletin, it would be helpful to make them safer and usable in bird-filled areas like shorelines.

SheerWind’s technology is a cost-effective, high-performance alternative to conventional wind technology. By capturing, accelerating, and harvesting wind power in a funnel system called INVELOX, it turns traditional wind power systems upside down by first using a funnel to collect the wind, channeling that wind to increase its speed, and then delivering it efficiently to multiple turbines safely housed at ground level. It enables energy to be produced from very low wind speeds of 2 meters per second, in locations close to an end user — even on rooftops in urban areas —and eliminates the need for complex power and grid systems. Because the system is enclosed, it is bird-safe.