• Our WindHarvest logo is actually a painting created by artist Sam Francis (1923-1994), one of the company's three co-founders. Mr. Francis' intention was to capture the unique energy forces at play in WindHarvest's Vertical Axis Wind Turbines.

    Mr. Francis, an extremely successful abstract expressionist painter, is regarded as "one of the 20th century's leading interpreters of light and color" and " is credited with helping secure international recognition for postwar American painting." He was also an ardent and committed environmentalist whose firm belief in Wind Harvest's mission lead him to become the company's primary initial investor as well as a life long supporter.

Developing and Post-Conflict Regions

 

There are many areas where wind resources are available and WHI Turbines, individually or in arrays, can power sustainable development for the locale or region.

Remote, off-grid applications

  • 70kW turbines, with 6.5 m/sec average wind resources can support economic development, improved health care and electricity for schools and village life.  The actual production depends on the wind conditions, however, with 6.5 m/sec or stronger winds(at 10m), a 70kW turbine can generate 161MWh of power annually.

  • Installation is low-tech, and maintenance crews from the local community can be trained to maintain the turbines.  One 13m standard shipping container can hold two turbines, and each turbine needs a 3.5m x 3.5m concrete pad for installation.   The turbines can be installed using a cherry-picker on the back of a truck.

  • The bottom of the blades are 3.5m off the cement pad, and the turbine is 18m, with a 12m rotor diameter.   Companion solar technology, battery technology or diesel back-up can be used to assure uninterrupted power.

  • Two or more turbines spaced close together enhance power production because of the coupled vortex effect, patented technology of WHI.


On-grid Sites in Developing Regions

 

There are many high-wind sites around the globe, whether on Island Nations with small grids, or coastal or mountainous regions where connection to larger grids is possible.

 

What may be needed is a modest amount of energy, and what may be available in terms of funding may be modest as well.  WHI Turbine Systems offers a new opportunity to people with an interest in these sites.

Disaster Relief and Post-Conflict Regions

WHI 70kW Turbine Systems, individually or in arrays, can provide significant energy to support refugee centers or evacuation facilities where there is an urgent need for power.   With a height of 18m and a rotor diameter of 12m, requiring only a 3.5m x 3.5m cement pad, they can quickly bring much needed-power which then enables many cascading benefits to support people on the ground.

Ideally, the turbines can remain in service of the areas where they are installed, and create a foundation for expansion in the locale.  However, it is possible to dis-assemble and relocate a turbine to an area where there is more need.  This reflects the thinking behind the design:  the uncertain future will need to be increasingly adaptable, and the drawbacks of diesel generation are well-known.  Sustainable development will require energy, and where the wind resource is available, energy through “local wind resources”  may create hubs for development.

Given the utility-scale size of our turbines, they can be trucked in or possibly air-lifted into areas, a 3.5m x 3.5m cement pad poured, and the turbine installed within days using a cherry-picker on the back of a truck.  Two turbines can be loaded into a standard shipping container.

Long-term power sources are needed for refugee centers, and diesel powered generators have limitations and health challenges from emissions and noise.  WHI turbine arrays can provide renewable energy with low-tech installation and maintenance.  WHI turbines do not need highly developed ports where ships can dock and deliver 50+meter blades and heavy equipment.  WHI turbines can be transported on dirt tracks and do not need substantial roads for trucks in order to carry the load.



Power Density is a Paradigm Shift

WHI Turbine arrays take advantage of the physics of Vertical Axis Wind Turbines(VAWTs):  the closer the turbines are placed to each other, the MORE efficient is the power production.  Where there is the appropriate wind resource (6.5 m/sec at 10m above ground) WHI arrays of turbines generate 2-4x as much power from the same site as the conventional wind technology.

 

Two or more turbines, closely spaced and counter-rotating, shed vortices raise the energy production compared with individual turbines, or turbines spaced further apart.  In addition to the high efficiency of the WHI VAWTs, when the turbines are closely spaced in arrays, the coupled vortex effect works to generate even higher energy than a single turbine.

 

WHI turbine arrays are cost-competitive with the HAWTs, yet the are relatively simple to transport, install, and maintain.  In addition, the easier it is to provide security for a turbine array because it is consolidated in a definable area.  Conventional Horizontal Axis Wind Turbines (HAWTs) are LESS efficient the closer they are placed, given the turbulence created.

 

Why isn’t this concept of Power Density common knowledge?  The founding engineer, Bob Thomas, has worked to overcome the challenges that VAWTs have experienced over the past thirty years.  His achievements, and those of the new generation of engineers for WHI are echoed by Dr. John Dabiri, full professor of bio-engineering at CalTech, in Pasadena California.  His research has validated WHI’s journey and results.  For those who are seeking a straight-forward and comprehensive explanation of Power Density, click here for a 45 minute elaborated lecture

 

For sustainable development, where energy is essential for economic growth, education and health care, funding agencies that are seeking to support development are able to achieve their goals and bring energy where it was not possible before.  New cost-effective option that advance the paradigm shift toward “How do we harness the maximum energy from a section of high-wind property?” and away from turbine efficiency as the starting point for the conversation and thinking.  In addition, WHI turbines are equally if not more efficient that the high end HAWTs on the market.