Local company turns to UNT researchers to study harvesting power of its new wind turbine

Monday, August 18, 2014 - 15:05

DENTON, Texas (UNT) – A Carrollton company is turning to researchers at the University of North Texas to examine its newest wind turbine, which it hopes can solve a difficult problem -- harvesting power when wind speeds are low.

If UNT researchers validate BE-Wind's design, it could overcome a barrier preventing wind turbines from being widely accepted by individual homeowners and within urban areas with dense populations.

Created by BE-Wind, the Evolution of Wind 2800 is a 10-foot dual helix, vertical axis wind turbine designed to generate up to 2.75 kWh of electrical power every day -- even when the wind velocity is low.

Those claims will be evaluated by about a dozen UNT students and faculty members throughout the next twelve months at the request of BE-Wind.

At the UNT Zero Energy Lab -- a specialized facility where students study upcoming sustainable and renewable energy technologies with the goal of producing enough electricity to power the building with a net-zero consumption of energy in a real, residential setting -- the researchers will monitor the wind turbine's noise level, power production in comparison to rated energy output, lifespan and overall quality and durability.

The UNT researchers will then create computational models based on data analysis that will either confirm or deny the company's claims. In return, BE-Wind officials say they plan to make adjustments to their model once UNT's findings are analyzed.

"Small wind is gaining in popularity throughout the world as interest in clean energy grows," said Michael Berdan, BE-Wind owner. "That's why it is important for us be able to work with a valuable local resource that can offer direct feedback during the development stages of our products."

 "Alongside faculty overseers, our student researchers will get real-world experience finding answers to problems they encounter, analyzing the research topic using industry software and composing a manuscript that outlines his or her research results," said Tingzhen Ming, adjunct professor of mechanical and energy engineering, who added that beyond the research goals, the study helps students develop useful skills they can use in their careers.

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