Micro Grid Wind Generators
The idea is to use the existing street lights posts if strong enough to build a micro grids of high-efficient vertical axis wind turbines (VAWT) (Figure 1).
As already known, the VAWTs have poor efficiency due to the air resistance of the blades when moving against the wind direction. The efficiency can be greatly improved by using flexible blades, which adjust their angle the way that they increase their drag when moving toward the wind direction and reduce the drag (increase the aerodynamic) when moving against it (Figure 2).
The efficiency comes at a price though, as this involves more moving parts, which increases the number of the wearable components/materials, which respectively increases the maintenance cost. To reduce the maintenance cost the construction must be as simple as possible, using cheaper, durable materials and minimum number of moving components as well as allowing simple parts/materials replacement procedures. The VAWT construction can be borrowed from already existing, 1000’s of years of improving one – sailing. Instead of hard blades, flexible sails can be used (Figure 2 and 3).
The sails cannot provide a long life of service, however the cost of the VAWT maintenance can be covered from advertising – as already mentioned the wind turbines will be mounted on busy places like streets and motorways, exposed to the attention of lots of potential customers. The companies, that want to advertise, putting their logo/advert on the sails will pay for the materials and labour. The technique for attaching/detaching the sails is taken from sailing again and allows simple, health and safety compliant procedure (figure 3).
This technique has another advantage (again from the boat sailing) – the sails can be lowered in case of bad weather conditions and strong winds and hurricanes to prevent the construction from damage.