On paper, this idea seems flawless and all good. Potentially higher power outputs, less noise than horizontal turbines, lower costs, easy portability, less maintenance required, better returns on investments and better visibility to our 'flying friends', I wonder what else one would demand? I believe even if half of these potential qualities are true, we are up for something really useful.
Um, well no I can't, just stuff I've read in the popular press. But you notice that big turbines are all horizontal. I'm a radar engineer by trade, alternative energy enthusiast by night. VAWTs are simpler, though, because they don't need steering controls and mechanisms.
Charles after all this time you don't know the answer to that question when the wind stops? Isn't it obvious? Isn't it the same if they made too much power? What would they do?
What do they do when the train stops? Oh My!!
And the VAWT's are only 10-20% as cost effective as HAWT's as they are less eff, take 3-10x's the materials, space with many more parts. Only a fool or one who didn't have a clue would recommend them.
I've done both kinds and built some of the best ones made and no way a VAWT is worth doing for cost effective power.
Nothing even new about Railways powering with RE, mostly wind or solar has been mentioned 50+ times I can think about.
The real killer app is for the wind, solar production not to run the train as much as pay for and running it by selling power. Also pipeline, powerline and commuication lines space rentals to pay for the trains/tracks or even a profit.
VAWTs have been studied to death. They have their niche, but they are less efficient that horizontal ones. These are close to the surface, which reduces power substantially. The idea might work on the open prarie. It depends on the costs ivolved, including maintenance of all those turbines.
Wonder what the real world cost per mile will be also.
Will the power produced be adequate to the load? Energy density often seems to be the chief difficulty of "green" ideas.
Not saying it can't/won't work, but I've seen way too many of these "great ideas" crash due to folks not asking the hard questions.
I've always liked the verical axis idea, BTW. It has been around for decades (or longer) is anyone here familiar with the issues that have held it back? The unidirectional aspect of the design and the ability to put the heavy bits (gearing, generator) on the ground should reduce cost, maintainance and complexity.
TJ, I think the image is of a road and not a railway. This would imply that they need to harvest the wake turbulence of ICE vehicles. Being it is in Europe, probably deisel vehicles. If your observation is true, then for the energy requirement to be met for the train, carbon based fuel has to be used. Seems we cannot get away from this premise. Maybe we run deisel train engines instead?
I agree, Ann, the aircraft-inspired design is quite cool, and makes perfect sense. I wonder if other wind-turbine designers are thinking this way as well? It is definitely a new level of innovation for this technology.
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