SheerWind, a wind power startup based in Chaska, Minnesota, has created ducted wind turbines named Invelox, short for “increasing the velocity of wind” which looks a bit like a giant funnel sitting on top of an equally large periscope. The duct is designed to capture wind from any direction, increase its speed and concentrate the moving airflow before passing it through a relatively small turbine at ground level.
The advantage as said by the company is the smaller, ground-based turbines, which makes transport and installation easy as compared against the growing challenge of the conventional wind turbine developers to build, transport, and mount giant turbine blades.
SheerWind is able to use a turbine with blades that are 80 percent smaller than those used in conventional turbines with similar output. Keeping the turbine at ground level will also significantly reduce installation and maintenance costs.
According to the company official INVELOX should generate power for roughly one third less cost than conventional wind turbines and by speeding up the wind they can boost power output by 280 percent and reduce the cut in speed by 80 percent to a wind speed of 2 miles per hour.
The company completed its first large scale prototype earlier this month. CEO Daryoush Allaei said, “Initial testing without the turbine resulted in a near doubling of wind speed passing through the device as predicted in prior modeling.”