Natural Fluid Current Patents (Class 416/41)
  • Patent number: 8328515
    Abstract: An improved wind-powered generator, comprising a wind wheel with semi-flexible sails, a supporting tower that can rotate freely with the wind direction, a fairing that ensures the wind wheel is always downwind of the tower, energy generators affixed to the upper tower and mechanically coupled to the rim of the wind wheel, and a controller that changes the angle of attack of the wings.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 26, 2009
    Date of Patent: December 11, 2012
    Inventors: Guirguis Saad Dawoud, Annetta Atia Yacoub
  • Patent number: 8317471
    Abstract: A method for preventing a possible overspeed of a wind turbine rotor with at least one rotor blade is provided. The method includes detecting a yaw misalignment of the rotor, and imposing a restriction on changes of a pitch angle towards a feathered position of the at least one rotor blade after detecting the yaw misalignment. Further, a wind turbine having a rotor and a control system configured to prevent a possible overspeed of the rotor is provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 29, 2011
    Date of Patent: November 27, 2012
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Ulf Axelsson, Christian Haag, Mikael Björk, Jacob Johannes Nies
  • Patent number: 8282350
    Abstract: A blade system and method of use for a wind turbine to produce electrical power. The system has a vertical rotor shaft coupled to an anchor pad and supports a horizontal blade arm. A blade assembly having a rotatable flap is coupled to the blade arm. The flap captures the wind which causes the rotor shaft to rotate and generates electrical power from an electrical generator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 29, 2009
    Date of Patent: October 9, 2012
    Assignee: The Corrado Family Limited Partnership, L.L.C.
    Inventor: Michael L. Corrado
  • Patent number: 8277184
    Abstract: A wind energy system is provided with said wind energy system including a hub pivotable about a rotation axis, a first bearing connected to said hub, a tapered adapter, a second bearing connected to said first bearing by said adapter, wherein said first and second bearings and said adapter are arranged such that the tilt angle of said rotation axis of said hub is adjustable. Further, a tilt adjustment system for a wind energy system and a method for operating a wind energy system is provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 22, 2010
    Date of Patent: October 2, 2012
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Jacob Johannes Nies, Shanmuga-Priyan Subramanian
  • Patent number: 8267654
    Abstract: An apparatus and system for counteracting wind gusts and other high load situations in a wind turbine includes the use of one or more gust counteracting devices configured to extend an air deflector outwardly from a surface of a turbine rotor blade. The air deflector may subsequently be retracted into the rotor blade once the wind gust has subsided or once the load falls below a certain threshold. Mechanisms for extending and retracting the air deflector may include pneumatic or hydraulic systems and/or electromechanical devices. Air deflectors are generally configured to normalize air flow around the rotor blade so that the risk of potential damage to components of the wind turbine is minimized. In one arrangement, the gust counteracting device may be located at a leading section of the turbine blade. Additionally or alternatively, the device may be modular in nature to facilitate the removal and replacement of the device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 16, 2008
    Date of Patent: September 18, 2012
    Assignee: Frontier Wind, LLC
    Inventors: Cornelis P. van Dam, Kevin Lee Jackson
  • Patent number: 8267653
    Abstract: An active flow control system for manipulating a boundary layer of air across a wind turbine rotor blade. The wind turbine rotor blade has at least one sidewall defining a cavity therein. The sidewall extends between a leading edge and an axially spaced trailing edge. The active flow control system includes an air discharge assembly that is coupled to the sidewall. The air discharge assembly is configured to selectively discharge air from within the wind turbine rotor blade into the boundary layer. An air suction assembly is coupled to the sidewall and to the air discharge assembly. The air suction assembly is configured to channel air from the boundary layer to the air discharge assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 21, 2010
    Date of Patent: September 18, 2012
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Jacob Johannes Nies, Wouter Haans
  • Patent number: 8257040
    Abstract: A wind power generation system includes a wind turbine at a wind turbine location, a measuring device for providing a wind condition signal at a test location, a sensor for providing a wind condition signal at the wind turbine, and a controller. The controller is configured for receiving the wind condition signals, using a wind correlation database and the wind condition signal at the test location for providing a wind condition estimation at the wind turbine location, obtaining a difference between the wind condition signal at the wind turbine location and the wind condition estimate at the wind turbine location, and using the difference for adjusting the wind condition signal at the wind turbine location.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 24, 2009
    Date of Patent: September 4, 2012
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Weiguo Chen, Jiyang Xia, Lei Zhao
  • Patent number: 8246302
    Abstract: A wind turbine system includes a shaft, a rotor for driving the shaft, and a first fluidic teeter control assembly. The rotor includes a first blade engaged to the shaft by a hub, and has a degree of freedom to pivot relative to the shaft. A first teeter angle is defined between an instantaneous position of the first blade and a time-averaged plane of rotation of the first blade. The first fluidic teeter control assembly is engaged between the rotor and the shaft for providing a first dynamic teeter restraining force as a function of the first teeter angle and a fluidic resistance. The first dynamic restraining force is relatively low when the first teeter angle is within a first teeter operation range, and the first dynamic restraining force is higher when the first teeter angle is outside that range.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 6, 2007
    Date of Patent: August 21, 2012
    Assignee: Hamilton Sundstrand Corporation
    Inventor: Fabio P. Bertolotti
  • Patent number: 8240990
    Abstract: An apparatus and method for reducing asymmetric rotor load in a wind turbine includes calculating a time delay for pitching each blade toward feather upon initiation of a shutdown condition. The blades with the larger blade angle begin moving toward feather with an initial pitch rate, while the blade with the smallest blade angle begins moving toward feather with a final pitch rate. Once all the blades have reached approximately an identical blade angle, the blades move simultaneously together to feather at the final pitch rate. By introducing the time delay for pitching the blades having higher blade angles at the final pitch rate, a simple, time-based correction of initial conditions during shutdown reduces the extreme loads on turbine components.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 6, 2007
    Date of Patent: August 14, 2012
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Leonardo Cesar Kammer, Hubert Oing
  • Patent number: 8240991
    Abstract: A method, system and computer program product for operating a wind turbine is disclosed. For operating the wind turbine a set of operational data points are sensed via a sensing module. The set of operational data points may include bending stress values. Based on the bending stress values, a load scenario indicator value may be computed. Further, based on the set of operational data points a loading threshold value may be obtained. At least one operating parameter of the wind turbine is changed if the load scenario indicator value exceeds the loading threshold.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 23, 2011
    Date of Patent: August 14, 2012
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Matthijs Leonardus Gerardus Boerlage, Leonardo Cesar Kammer
  • Patent number: 8235662
    Abstract: A wind turbine and system for controlling a wind turbine using a nosecone mounted metrology system is disclosed. The wind turbine comprises at least one wind sensor for determining at least one wind characteristic. The wind sensor is mounted on a boom and located at a predetermined distance outward from the wind turbine nosecone.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 9, 2007
    Date of Patent: August 7, 2012
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Ryan M. LeClair, Thomas P. Schmitt, Saskia G. Honoff, Clinton L. Williams, Thomas H. Siebers, Donald M. Rogers, Christopher J. Winslow
  • Patent number: 8231344
    Abstract: In one aspect, a method for controlling the amplitude modulation of noise generated by a wind turbine is disclosed. The method may generally include determining an angle of attack of a rotor blade of a wind turbine and maintaining the angle of attack at a substantially constant value during rotation of the rotor blade in order to reduce the amplitude modulation of the noise generated by the wind turbine.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 5, 2011
    Date of Patent: July 31, 2012
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Kevin Wayne Kinzie, Benoit Petitjean, Roger Drobietz, Thomas Joseph Fischetti, Stefan Herr
  • Patent number: 8221076
    Abstract: A method of controlling at least one wind turbine blade during the stopping process of the rotor in a wind turbine system is disclosed. The method optimizes the control velocity of the process in response to one or more feedback values of the system and/or one or more feedback values from the surroundings of the system by altering the angular pitch velocity from 10°/sec during the initial stage of the stopping process to 5°/sec at the final stage of the stopping process. A control system and a wind turbine as well as use hereof are also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 21, 2010
    Date of Patent: July 17, 2012
    Assignee: Vestas Wind Systems A/S
    Inventors: Ole Mølgaard Jeppesen, John Bengtson, Torben Møller Hansen
  • Patent number: 8215906
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a method of controlling the aerodynamic load of a wind turbine blade by controlling the tip speed ratio (TSR) and/or blade pitch setting of the wind turbine blade so as to optimize power production. A wind turbine blade undergoes an aero-elastic response including deflection and twist that is a function of the blade loading. The blade loading is dependent on the wind speed, TSR, and pitch setting. The aero-elastic response requires a different TSR and/or pitch to be selected throughout the power curve in order to maintain the optimum power production and to improve energy capture.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 29, 2008
    Date of Patent: July 10, 2012
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Kirk Gee Pierce, Brandon Shane Gerber, Stefan Herr
  • Patent number: 8202051
    Abstract: The wind-driven turbine apparatus is an apparatus comprising: a horizontal axle, a support frame, said support frame comprising; bearings configured to support said horizontal axle; and a central bearing to permit said support frame to rotate about a vertical axis; a plurality of axial blades, spaced longitudinally along said horizontal axle, spaced radially around said horizontal axle and a tail attached to said support frame.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 3, 2009
    Date of Patent: June 19, 2012
    Inventor: Ronald Paul Ackerman
  • Patent number: 8202048
    Abstract: The invention concerns a method of operating a wind turbine, wherein for a reduction of a wind load impacting on the wind turbine the rotational speed of the rotor and/or the electrical power output of the wind turbine are reduced depending on a deviation of the wind speed from the average wind speed. Moreover the invention concerns a wind turbine comprising a calculating unit adjusted for executing the inventive method.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 1, 2008
    Date of Patent: June 19, 2012
    Assignee: Siemens Aktiengesellschaft
    Inventors: Henrik Stiesdal, Martin Winther-Jensen
  • Patent number: 8197206
    Abstract: An apparatus for generating electrical power from a flow of water, including a housing having a water inlet and water outlet, a first turbine (12) mounted in the housing for rotation about a substantially vertical axis and having a turbine shaft, a set of vertical blades (22), and a blade angle control mechanism, a second turbine (14) mounted in the housing adjacent to the first turbine, for rotation about a substantially vertical axis, the second turbine having a turbine shaft, a set of vertical blades (22) and a blade angle control mechanism, the housing being adapted to be mounted within the body of water and being so configured that an incoming water flow enters the housing via the inlet, and is principally directed into two driving flows (34, 36), one for each turbine, and is then directed for discharge via the outlet, the angle of each blade with respect to the driving water flow is controlled by the blade angle control mechanism such that a large blade surface area is presented to the incoming water fl
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 5, 2006
    Date of Patent: June 12, 2012
    Assignee: Sundermann Water Power Ltd
    Inventor: Frederick Herman Sundermann
  • Patent number: 8192160
    Abstract: A wind turbine includes a rotor having a hub and at least one rotor blade, wherein the operating height of the hub is adjustable. Further, a method for operating a wind turbine is provided, which includes varying the height of the wind turbine.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 1, 2010
    Date of Patent: June 5, 2012
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Francisco Garcia Lopez, Eugenio Yegro Segovia, Pedro Luis Benito Santiago
  • Publication number: 20120134802
    Abstract: A wind turbine variable is controlled by detecting air flow conditions in front of the leading edge of the blade. One or more Laser Doppler Anemometers are mounted on or incorporated into the blade to determine air flow velocity in the region in front of the leading edge of the blade. The measured flow conditions may be used to control the position of a control surface such as a trailing edge flap or the rotor speed. The LDAs may comprise lasers of different frequencies to enable more than one component of flow velocity to be measured.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 18, 2010
    Publication date: May 31, 2012
    Applicant: VESTAS WIND SYSTEMS A/S
    Inventors: Carsten Hein Westergaard, Niels Anker Olesen, Chris Spruce
  • Patent number: 8174142
    Abstract: A wind turbine 20 has a turbine wheel 22 with a perimeter rim 24 and/or an intermediate rim 117 that are concentric with the axis of rotation of the turbine wheel. Electrical generators 46 and 48 are placed in engagement with the rims, with the generators formed in pairs that engage opposite surfaces of the rims. The electrical generators are mounted so that they may move laterally in response to the axial “wobble” likely to occur in the rims of the turbine wheel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 26, 2009
    Date of Patent: May 8, 2012
    Inventor: Gerald L. Barber
  • Patent number: 8172531
    Abstract: A plain bearing assembly for mounting a blade to a hub of a wind turbine includes an outer member mountable to one of the blade or hub, and an inner member mountable to the other of the blade or hub and movable relative to the outer member. The plain bearing further includes fluid cavities associated with one of the outer or inner member and arranged to confront the other of the outer or inner member. The fluid cavities are coupled to a pressure source for establishing a pressurized fluid film between the inner and outer members. A method includes monitoring at least one parameter of the fluid film, comparing the at least one parameter to a threshold criteria, and altering a dynamic state of the wind turbine and/or altering the state of the blade bearing assembly if the threshold criteria is exceeded.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 10, 2011
    Date of Patent: May 8, 2012
    Assignee: Vestas Wind Systems A/S
    Inventor: Jörg Wadehn
  • Publication number: 20120107118
    Abstract: A novel vertical-axis wind turbine (VAWT) is provided. The VAWT has rotor to help starting up and avoiding overspeed. Blades of the VAWT are used for an auxiliary mechanism. By adjusting rigidity of multiple springs with torque of support blades, the blades forms equilibrium of rotating status under different wind speeds. The present disclosure makes the VAWT device more effective for improving efficiency as well as reducing cost while increase in spatiality of the VAWT is avoided.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 28, 2010
    Publication date: May 3, 2012
    Applicant: ATOMIC ENERGY COUNCIL-INSTITUTE OF NUCLEAR ENERGY RESEARCH
    Inventors: Hung-Yun Wu, Tai-Wei Chen
  • Patent number: 8162608
    Abstract: Wind turbine, yaw system controller and yaw system for a wind turbine and method of reducing the loads on such a yaw system. A method for reducing the loads acting on a wind turbine yaw system (19) due to yawing moments which are induced to the yaw system (19) by a rotor which comprises at least one rotor blade with a pitch control system is provided. In the method, the yawing moment which is induced to the yaw system (19) by the rotor is determined and the pitch of the at least one rotor blade is set based on the detected yawing moment such that the determined yawing moment is reduced.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 9, 2008
    Date of Patent: April 24, 2012
    Assignee: Siemens Aktiengesellschaft
    Inventors: Bo Birkemose, Per Egedal
  • Publication number: 20120093646
    Abstract: A system for arranging and operating an array of wind machines to protect crops from damaging weather conditions, such as freezing frost, rain and heat. The method includes a wind machine positioned to force air across the crop. The wind machine is preferably a propeller/tower configuration. The operational method of the wind machine array includes the steps of sensing ambient meteorological and the hardiness of the crop to withstand a particular adverse weather condition and operating the wind machines in response to these factors. Multiples of wind machines are employed in the preferred embodiment of the method, the siting of the wind machines preferably based upon topographic and historical meteorological conditions. The operation of the wind machines can be automatically and remotely operated with the aid of satellite communications including internet links.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 27, 2011
    Publication date: April 19, 2012
    Inventor: Daryl G. Hill
  • Patent number: 8157521
    Abstract: There is provided a wind turbine generator and a method of controlling the same which can prevent the decline in power generation efficiency even when the generator is located where the wind is not always strong. The wind turbine generator mainly includes an anemometer, an anemoscope, a nacelle swiveling mechanism which turns a nacelle, and a control unit which controls the nacelle swiveling mechanism. The control unit controls the nacelle swiveling mechanism so as to swivel the nacelle based on the wind direction obtained from the measurement result of the anemoscope when the wind speed obtained from the measurement result of the anemometer is greater than a first threshold Vth1 which is smaller than a cut-in wind speed Vcut—in, and controls the nacelle swiveling mechanism so as to stop the swiveling of the nacelle when the wind speed obtained from the measurement result of the anemometer is not greater than a first threshold Vth1.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 10, 2010
    Date of Patent: April 17, 2012
    Assignee: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd.
    Inventors: Tohru Minami, Tetsuo Takebe
  • Patent number: 8133023
    Abstract: An apparatus and method for reducing wind turbine damage includes a propeller having a plurality of blades projecting radially from a hub. The blades may be adjustably combined to form variable cross-sections that either increase or decrease propeller rotation speed dependent on wind speed and weather conditions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 3, 2009
    Date of Patent: March 13, 2012
    Assignee: Lockheed Martin Corporation
    Inventor: Elliott Reitz
  • Patent number: 8128363
    Abstract: A brake assembly for use with a wind turbine. The brake assembly comprises a movable wind flap for attachment to a tail assembly of the wind turbine, the wind flap being configured to assume a first closed position during normal operation, and a second open position when incoming winds exceed a predetermined velocity threshold. Provided on the wind flap is a trip rudder assembly for cooperating with incoming wind to urge the wind flap into the open position. A counterbalance assembly is also provided for biasing the wind flap into the closed position. The wind flap in the open position effects a redirection of a portion of the incoming wind, urging the wind turbine to assume an oblique position relative to the incoming wind, effecting a reduction in rotational velocity of the wind turbine.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 30, 2008
    Date of Patent: March 6, 2012
    Assignee: Wind Simplicity Inc.
    Inventors: Sharolyn Vettese, Alfred Mathieu
  • Patent number: 8123477
    Abstract: A method for controlling a wind turbine rotor during a stop process by pitching the rotor blades fast, e.g. with an angular rate of 10-15°/s to a no-thrust position, after which the rotor blades are pitched to maintain the no-thrust or a thrust against the direction of the pendulum movement of the tower for a while to prevent the aerodynamic thrust from aggravating the pendulum movement of the tower. With this control strategy, the bending moments of the tower root are minimized, leading to avoidance of wind turbine tower failure, to prolongation of the life time for a wind turbine tower and the possibility of erecting wind turbine towers of less reinforcement at the tower root.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 14, 2010
    Date of Patent: February 28, 2012
    Assignee: Vestas Wind Systems A/S
    Inventors: Lars Risager, Keld Hammerum
  • Publication number: 20120045333
    Abstract: A vertical axis windmill is disclosed which includes a set of frames attached via horizontal bars to a vertical axis of rotation, each frame comprising a plurality of swinging windows, each swinging window comprising an upper horizontal bar, vertical side bars, and a plurality of additional horizontal bars; a plurality of blinking sails comprising sheets of lightweight material, wherein the upper edge of each blinking sail is fixed at a horizontal bar, each blinking sail being allowed to move by pivoting or bending relative to the horizontal bar; a gap control rod for each of the frames, connected to each of the swinging windows in the frame such that all swinging windows in the frame move synchronously as the gap control rod is moved; and one or more electronically controlled actuators capable of moving the gap control rods.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 21, 2010
    Publication date: February 23, 2012
    Inventor: Jasim Saleh Al-Azzawi
  • Patent number: 8113480
    Abstract: A support for a wind turbine having rear frame extending from a bedplate, where the support includes at least one tension member extending between the rear frame and the bedplate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 19, 2008
    Date of Patent: February 14, 2012
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: John P. Davis, James D. Antalek, Win Nguyen
  • Patent number: 8113777
    Abstract: A device is described for generating energy. The device includes at least two ultralight airfoils rotating along their own axis, which functionally reproduce the characteristics of a propeller. The ultralight airfoils which characterize such aerodynamic configuration use pulling members (such as cables or tie-rods) to keep their shape when operating. An important weight reduction of the structure is thus obtained, which allows different applications in the aeolian generation field.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 23, 2006
    Date of Patent: February 14, 2012
    Assignee: Sequoia It S.R.L.
    Inventor: Gianni Vergnano
  • Patent number: 8109722
    Abstract: A turbine for use with a turbine generator, the turbine including at least one turbine blade for positioning in a flowpath, a hub mounting the at least one turbine blade, and a rotatable shaft in operational communication with the hub via a hinge assembly, an axis of the hub being independent of an axis of the shaft. The hinge assembly is disposed between the shaft and the hub and configured to adjust an angle therebetween. A controller assembly is configured to adjust at least one operational characteristic of the hinge assembly during turbine operation. In one embodiment the operational characteristic is a teeter angle of the hinge assembly. In one embodiment operational characteristic is a stiffness or damping force. Methods for using and controlling a fluid turbine are also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 24, 2009
    Date of Patent: February 7, 2012
    Assignee: Nordic Windpower Ltd.
    Inventors: Charles R. Gamble, Steve Taber
  • Patent number: 8105028
    Abstract: A control system for mitigating the effects of a wind turbine on a radar system is disclosed. The control system includes a sensor configured to detect an operating condition of the radar system; a processor configured to receive an operating condition of the wind turbine and determine a rotation modification sequence based on the operating condition of the radar system and the operating condition of the wind turbine; and a controller configured to apply the rotation modification sequence to the wind turbine. A method of mitigating the effects of a wind turbine on a radar system is also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 3, 2009
    Date of Patent: January 31, 2012
    Assignee: Technology Service Corporation
    Inventor: David A. Rugger
  • Patent number: 8100647
    Abstract: A method for operating a wind turbine having a rotor with a number of wind turbine blades, wherein the rotor's axis of rotation is tilted in relation to the direction of the incoming wind, includes the steps of determining the azimuth angle (A) of the blades and adjusting the pitch angle of the blades in accordance with the azimuth angle (A) to ensure a substantially constant angle of attack (AoA) during at least a full rotation of the rotor. A wind turbine and use of the method are also contemplated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 24, 2009
    Date of Patent: January 24, 2012
    Assignee: Vestas Wind Systems A/S
    Inventors: Kristian Balschmidt Godsk, Thomas Steiniche Bjertrup Nielsen, Erik Billeskov Sloth
  • Patent number: 8096761
    Abstract: A method for operating a wind turbine. The method includes providing a wind turbine having at least one blade having adjustable pitch angle that is adjusted according to an operational parameter schedule. A blade efficiency parameter is determined in response to a wind speed and a rotor speed. A minimum pitch angle is determined in response to the blade efficiency parameter and the pitch angle of the at least one blade in response to the blade efficiency parameter is maintained to an angle equal to or greater than the minimum pitch angle independent of the operational parameter schedule. A wind turbine plant and a method for servicing a wind turbine are also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 16, 2008
    Date of Patent: January 17, 2012
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Thomas Frank Fric, Kevin Standish, Kirk Gee Pierce, Bernard Landa
  • Publication number: 20120009062
    Abstract: A method for mitigating loads on a wind turbine in yaw error events is disclosed. The method may include determining a yaw error and a speed of the wind turbine and determining a magnitude of de-rating of the wind turbine based upon magnitudes of the yaw error and the speed. The method may further include reducing power output of the wind turbine based upon the magnitude of de-rating.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 28, 2011
    Publication date: January 12, 2012
    Applicant: Clipper Windpower, Inc.
    Inventors: Benjamin Tyler Ingram, Sandeep Gupta, Ameet Shridhar Deshpande, Nathaniel Brook Taylor
  • Patent number: 8089173
    Abstract: In embodiments of the present invention improved capabilities are described for wind power nozzle configurations, comprising a throat coupled in fluid communication with a wind power generating turbine, the throat having a diameter, a leading edge distal from the throat, and an intake length between the leading edge of the nozzle and the throat of the nozzle, wherein the intake length is less than two times the diameter of the throat. In embodiments, further comprising a wind energy conversion module that includes the nozzle and the wind power generating turbine, the wind energy conversion module forming a modular portion of a modular wind energy system that includes a plurality of wind energy conversion modules.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 23, 2010
    Date of Patent: January 3, 2012
    Assignee: V Squared Wind, Inc.
    Inventor: Robert M. Freda
  • Patent number: 8087889
    Abstract: A wind turbine having at least a blade comprising a first component having an aerodynamic profile with a leading edge, a trailing edge, and suction and pressure sides between the leading edge and the trailing edge, and a second component, attached to the trailing edge and/or to the leading edge of the first component in at least a part of the blade. An upwards and/or downwards deflectable flap allows changing the flow over the blade, in which the unit for deflecting the flap is a fluid inflatable unit placed in a flap inner chamber close to the first component and in which the wind turbine comprises a unit for controlling the inflatable unit depending on the wind situation and/or the blade loads.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 16, 2008
    Date of Patent: January 3, 2012
    Assignee: Gamesa Innovation & Technology, S.L.
    Inventors: Christian Meldgaard, Michael Friedrich
  • Publication number: 20110318180
    Abstract: Some general aspects of the invention provide a method for operating a wind energy converter having a variable-ratio gear system (906, 172-178) mechanically coupled between a rotor (102) and a generator (104), wherein the variable-ratio gear system (906, 172-178) includes a first transmission unit (174) coupled to a first shaft (168) and a second transmission unit (172) coupled to a second shaft (165).
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 20, 2009
    Publication date: December 29, 2011
    Applicant: AMSC WINDTEC GMBH
    Inventors: Martin Fischer, Peter Weichbold, Robert Tratnig
  • Patent number: 8083481
    Abstract: A system for arranging and operating an array of wind machines to protect crops from damaging weather conditions, such as freezing frost, rain and heat. The method includes a wind machine positioned to force air across the crop. The wind machine is preferably a propeller/tower configuration. The operational method of the wind machine array includes the steps of sensing ambient meteorological and the hardiness of the crop to withstand a particular adverse weather condition and operating the wind machines in response to these factors. Multiples of wind machines are employed in the preferred embodiment of the method, the siting of the wind machines preferably based upon topographic and historical meteorological conditions. The operation of the wind machines can be automatically and remotely operated with the aid of satellite communications including internet links.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 21, 2007
    Date of Patent: December 27, 2011
    Inventor: Daryl G. Hill
  • Patent number: 8044670
    Abstract: An apparatus for determining a resonant frequency of a wind turbine tower is provided. The apparatus includes a processing unit configured to receive an acceleration measurement value, the acceleration measurement value representative of the acceleration of the wind turbine tower in the direction parallel to a rotor rotational axis of the wind turbine and/or in the direction perpendicular to both the rotor rotational axis and the tower axis of the wind turbine. The apparatus includes a memory configured to store a series of acceleration measurement values, and the processing unit includes a Fourier transform module configured to calculate a spectral vector based on calculating a convolution-based fast Fourier transform of the series of acceleration measurement values, and includes a resonant frequency calculation module configured to calculate the tower resonant frequency based on the calculated spectral vector.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 12, 2009
    Date of Patent: October 25, 2011
    Assignee: Siemens Aktiengesellschaft
    Inventors: Martin Bjerge, Per Egedal
  • Patent number: 8043055
    Abstract: A wind turbine generator system is provided with a nacelle supporting a wind turbine rotor, a nacelle rotation mechanism, an anemometer, and a control apparatus controlling the nacelle rotation mechanism. Said control apparatus calculates the wind direction deviation from the wind direction measured by the anemometer and the direction of the wind turbine rotor. Said control apparatus performs a yaw rotation of the nacelle by the nacelle rotation mechanism when any of conditions (1) and (2) is satisfied; the condition (1) is a condition under which a state where the absolute value of said wind direction deviation is equal to or more than a first threshold value continues for a first duration predetermined, and the condition (2) is a condition under which a state where the absolute value of said wind direction deviation is equal to or more than a second threshold value larger than said first threshold value continues for a second duration shorter than said first duration.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 24, 2008
    Date of Patent: October 25, 2011
    Assignee: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd.
    Inventors: Atsushi Matsuo, Koji Fukami, Toshihide Noguchi, Kazuki Hayashida, Teppei Fujitsuka, Yuji Yatomi
  • Patent number: 8043054
    Abstract: A monitoring system for a wind turbine includes at least one acoustic sensor configured to measure an acoustic emission generated by at least one component of the wind turbine, and a control system configured to calculate at least one wear characteristic of the component based on the measured acoustic emission. The wear characteristic includes at least one of a current amount of wear on the component, a rate of wear on the component, and a predicted amount of wear on the component.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 25, 2010
    Date of Patent: October 25, 2011
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Mallikarjuna Reddy D, Sujan Kumar Pal, Narasimhamurthy Raju Nadampalli
  • Patent number: 8021111
    Abstract: A method for operating a wind turbine having a rotor with a number of wind turbine blades, wherein the rotor's axis of rotation is tilted in relation to the direction of the incoming wind, includes the steps of determining the azimuth angle (A) of the blades and adjusting the pitch angle of the blades in accordance with the azimuth angle (A) to ensure a substantially constant angle of attack (AoA) during at least a full rotation of the rotor. A wind turbine and use of the method are also contemplated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 24, 2009
    Date of Patent: September 20, 2011
    Assignee: Vestas Wind Systems A/S
    Inventors: Kristian Balschmidt Godsk, Thomas Steiniche Bjertrup Nielsen, Erik Billeskov Sloth
  • Patent number: 8016560
    Abstract: A wind turbine rotor blade includes a pressure side and a suction side. At least one airfoil passage is defined through the blade between the pressure side and suction side. A respective cover is configured over the airfoil passage at each of the pressure and suction sides. The covers are actuatable between a closed position wherein the cover is flush with the respective pressure or suction side and an open position wherein the cover moves to open the airfoil passage.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 17, 2010
    Date of Patent: September 13, 2011
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Edward Lee McGrath, Jonathan Glenn Luedke, Thomas Joseph Fischetti, Jing Wang, Stefan Herr
  • Publication number: 20110211957
    Abstract: A wind turbine for use in a wide range of wind conditions is disclosed. The wind turbine uses blade pitch change and/or blade folding to accommodate wind conditions and maintain a substantially constant speed. The blades are configured to fold in unison for balanced wind turbine operation.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 6, 2010
    Publication date: September 1, 2011
    Inventors: Mark Folsom, Curt Higgins
  • Patent number: 8002524
    Abstract: The present application provides a wind turbine system. The wind turbine system may include a number of blades, a number of wind speed sensors positioned on the blades, a controller in communication with the wind speed sensors, and one or more performance adjustment, mechanisms in communication with the controller. The controller activates the performance adjustment mechanisms in response to the wind speed sensors.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 10, 2009
    Date of Patent: August 23, 2011
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Eric Eggleston, Christopher Wolfe, Eric John Ruggiero, Alexander Simpson, Rodrigo Rodriguez Erdmenger, Robbert Pannekeet
  • Publication number: 20110142627
    Abstract: A teeter mechanism for a multiple-bladed wind turbine includes a rotor shaft operable to rotate about a first axis. A spherical member is rotatable about the first axis along with the rotor shaft. A plurality of turbine blades is mounted to a rotor hub. The rotor hub rotationally drives the rotor shaft, and is operable to teeter about the spherical member such that the rotor hub rotates about the first axis in a first position and rotates about a second axis offset from the first axis in a second, teeter position.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 16, 2009
    Publication date: June 16, 2011
    Inventor: Robert H. Perkinson
  • Patent number: 7959404
    Abstract: A wind turbine for generating electricity has been developed. The turbine includes a housing for securement to a support. A wheel is mounted within the housing and is rotatable about a horizontal axis. The wheel has an axle assembly and a number of blade assemblies affixed thereto. Each of the blade assemblies has a frame with a spaced-apart pair of uprights and a crosspiece connecting the uprights. Each of the blade assemblies also having a pair of movable blades positioned within the frame with each of the blades being hingedly fastened to a respective one of the uprights. A brake actuator assembly is associated with each of the blades for relieving pressure imparted by strong winds on the blades. A brake operator assembly, disposed principally within said axle assembly, synchronizes the movement of the blades. An electrical current generator is connected to the wheel so as to be powered thereby.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 18, 2009
    Date of Patent: June 14, 2011
    Inventor: Dennis P. Caldwell
  • Patent number: 7950901
    Abstract: A system and method provide a proactive mechanism to control pitching of the blades of a wind turbine to compensate for rotor imbalance during normal operation by pitching the blades individually or asymmetrically, based on turbulent wind gust measurements in front of the rotor, determined before it reaches the rotor blades.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 13, 2007
    Date of Patent: May 31, 2011
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Corneliu Barbu, Parag Vyas