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Wind Turbine Technology

Principal Investigator: Dr. Z. Wang

Co-Investigator: Dr. G. Naterer, E. Secnik

Wind technology is defined as the conversion of wind energy to a useful form of energy. The wind technology industry has been harnessing this type of energy source for more than a century and has made considerable changes in the recent decades. From small niche markets for grinding grains, pumping water and charging batteries, wind became an important supplier of grid-tied electricity.

The improvements over the years saw modern commercial wind electrical generators grow from simple units to sophisticated machines capable of generating millions of kilowatt-hours per year. The technical advances in wind energy at this time focused on the scaling of wind mills/turbines which improve the cost effectiveness and improved design methods to properly size turbines for their operating wind environment. Advances in generators, gearboxes, blade designs, blade materials, controls and computers using improved design software has allowed wind turbines to improve in performance and growth.

To accomplish this and continue wind energy expansion in the marketplace, wind turbine designs must overcome the ability to withstand changing aerodynamic loads and effectively extract power from the wind over a 20-year lifespan to make wind turbines more cost-effective.

Dr. Z. Wang, Assistant Professor, Research, UOIT

Wind turbine

Prototype of Vertical Axis Wind Turbine