How it Works
This system of capturing, concentrating, accelerating, and harvesting wind power in a funnel is a patented system we call INVELOXTM (for INcreased VELocity). SheerWind’s INVELOX is a solution that utilizes current wind power turbines and rotors but brings them to ground level for easier, safer, and cheaper operation and maintenance. Multiple turbines can be used in a row or series increasing output for each tower. What the technology produces—energy that is affordable, abundant, safe, and clean—is nothing short of revolutionary.
Conventional wind turbines use massive turbine generator systems mounted on top of a tower. INVELOX, by contrast, funnels wind energy to ground-based generators. Instead of snatching bits of energy from the wind as it passes through the blades of a rotor, wind is captured with a funnel and directed through a tapering passageway that naturally accelerates its flow. This stream of kinetic energy then drives a generator that is installed safely and economically at ground level. Bringing the airflow from the top of the tower to ground level allows for greater power generation with much smaller turbine blades.
INVELOX is scalable, equally suitable for use in major wind farms or micro-generation settings. It will produce power effectively at much lower wind speeds than current systems do, which means it has a dramatically wider geographical range.
INVELOX technology has been reviewed and validated by a technical advisory board, a team of experts from major research universities and agencies. Prototypes were tested under controlled laboratory conditions, and test results were used to build and validate full-scale computational fluid dynamic (CFD) models.
Several demonstration units have been tested since construction in 2012. The first small-scale unit was installed in a field near SheerWind’s facility in Chaska, Minnesota. The unit incorporates the instruments for full speed and power data collection. Speed data has validated CFD model predictions.
A large-scale (commercial-grade) field demo unit has been tested for over two years. Data collection and testing has continued to exceed expectations.
Comparing INVELOX commercial-grade wind energy generation with the same turbine on a traditional tower-mounted system. The test results indicate that INVELOX significantly out-performs the traditional turbine and is competitive with natural gas and hydroelectric generation by:
- Producing 600% more electrical energy (kWh)
- Operating at wind speeds as low as 1 mile per hour and in low wind regimes (class 1 and 2)
- Reducing installation capital cost to less that $750 per KW
- Increasing energy production capacity to record high of 72%