How it Works
Capture, accelerate, concentrate. These three words express the essence of SheerWind’s approach to wind power. The name INVELOX comes from this dedication to INcreasing the VELOcity of wind. 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. It also allows for networking, allowing multiple towers to direct energy to the same generator. The unit is about 50% shorter than traditional wind towers and uses a ground-based turbine with blades that are 84% smaller. Fewer generators are required, so equipment and maintenance costs are lower. Most importantly, energy output is greater.
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 will have a dramatically wider geographical range of use.
SheerWind’s value proposition is clear: facilitating inexpensive, efficient power generation with less impact to the environment and surrounding community.
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 are being field tested during 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. Preliminary speed data have validated CFD model predictions.
A larger-scale (Commercial-grade) field demo unit has also been completed. Data collection and testing has exceeded 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%
SheerWind’s INVELOX wind energy system captures the breeze from an above ground portal and funnels the wind through a tapering passageway that naturally accelerates its flow. This kinetic energy drives the INVELOX generator that operates at ground level. INVELOX has the following advantages:
- Costs less than 1 cent per KWH, making it competitive with natural gas and hydroelectric powered generation
- Requires no government subsidies to be profitable
- Reduces operating cost by 50% of current wind turbine technology
- Minimizes environment, animal, bird and human impact