Southwest Windpower conducted performance optimization and blade-fatigue tests at the NWTC on its new Skystream wind turbine. The 1.8-kW turbine, developed in partnership with DOE, won the Best of What’s New Award from Popular Science Magazine and was listed as a best invention for 2006 by Time magazine. The new turbine has fully integrated electrical components, costs less, is easier to install, and more quiet to operate.
Northern Power Systems (NPS) is reconfiguring its 100-kW cold weather turbine for agricultural and community applications in temperate climates. The company began building its new machine in 2007 and plans to start testing the prototype at the NWTC before the end of the year. The machine will cost less to produce, and it shows good potential for filling a market gap in mid-sized wind turbines.
Windward Engineering produced a new 4.25-kW machine called the Endurance. The turbine is sized to offset the energy consumption of an average U.S. home (~11,000 kWh/yr) when installed in a Class 3 wind regime (5 m/s at a height of 10m). It employs an induction generator to simplify grid compatibility and a brake that is capable of stopping the rotor on command in any wind condition—a unique feature for a small wind system. Windward used off-the-shelf components from other industries to reduce system cost. The Endurance is currently being tested at the NWTC to IEC standards for duration, power performance, and acoustics.