Vertical Axis Wind Turbines (VAWTs) are now seeing a resurgence
Multiple projects in multiple countries are working to bring new VAWT solutions to market. They represent a unique form of power-generation, which will open up previously untapped markets. Although, current VAWT designs lag behind their Horizontal Axis Wind Turbine (HAWT) counterparts in terms of efficiency, as measured by their power coefficient, other attractive benefits are now attainable.
New research suggests that VAWTs can now provide some highly attractive and cost-effective solutions. Firstly, they can be deployed in locations that may be unsuitable for HAWTs. But secondly, when deployed within existing wind farms they can accelerate airflow, which in addition to the VAWT energy generated improves the return of the downstream HAWTs. It is estimated that 20% of existing 140GW of deployed wind farms could benefit from this approach, which represents a $250bn market opportunity.
There are a variety of VAWT designs. Three popular configurations are the Savonius (drag-driven) rotor, the curved blade Darrieus (lift-driven), and the H-Rotor Darrieus (lift-driven).