The helical wind turbine is a peculiarly-shaped piece of green technology that harvests energy from wind. In most cases, the design of the helical wind turbine features some kind of spiral. These turbines often look like giant DNA helixes or oversized drill bits pointing to the sky. Although helical wind turbines may come in many different designs, shapes, and colors, they all attempt to use the power of the wind to create usable energy.
The typical helical wind turbine is crafted along a vertical axis line, in stark contrast to the regular wind turbine, which is generally crafted along a horizontal axis line. The turbine looks upward in a fixed gaze toward the clouds instead of facing angrily forward like the giant windmills of Don Quixote’s time. In its most basic form, the helical wind turbine has three airfoil blades that are mounted on a vertical rotor shaft. These blades feature a helical twist that is usually around 60 degrees as they spiral downward.
The helical wind turbine was first conceived in 1927 by a French engineer, Georges Jean Marie Darrieus, who specialized in the field of aeronautics. Darrieus conceived of and built a wind turbine with a main rotor shaft that ran vertically. He called his creation the Darrieus wind turbine, and it is from his original invention that our modern helical wind turbine has evolved. Although his design has since been found to contain many flaws, the sheer ingenuity of the concept has been preserved and improved on by many modern engineers.
One of the main advantages of helical wind turbines is their relative silence. Regular turbines often feature extremely fast speeds along the tips of the blades. This high airspeed produces a high-pitched screaming sound that can be annoying and distracting to anyone in the area. The design of helical wind turbines allows for slower speeds along the entire length of each blade. These slower speeds eliminate much of the annoying sound that is generally associated with wind turbines.
Another advantage of these turbines is that they can begin turning and producing energy even with only the presence of very low wind speeds. Regular turbines usually require a high degree of wind to get the blades spinning, after which the motion can be sustained by small or medium amounts of wind. Helical wind turbines can be started up with hardly any wind at all and are often found to be set in full motion with only the slightest breezes.
On the other hand, these turbines can also be used in areas where the wind speed is too high for the safe operation of regular turbines. Regular turbines often have to be locked down when the wind speed exceeds a certain limit. The design of the regular turbine can cause it to be turned into a safety hazard in areas with high wind speeds or during storms. Helical wind turbines can be safely operated even during extreme conditions.
Another huge advantage of the helical wind turbine is that it can be used much more easily in urban settings. Regular turbines must usually be placed far away from the ground in order to glean the most use out of them. Helical wind turbines, on the other hand, can be mounted close to the ground or even simply set up on a rooftop with very little extra height needed. For this reason, it is more and more common to find these turbines in residential areas, on rooftops, in backyards, and even in airports and other commercial structures.
Here are a few resources that you can look up if you are interested in learning more about the helical wind turbine: