Technology

General Description:
The five patents (both issued and pending) include surface-compliant plasma actuators that provide high thrust, reducing aerodynamic eddies and decreasing drag to improve electricity extraction in wind turbines. Prior to this invention, plasma actuators had not produced adequate thrust at lower wind speeds. Plasma actuators use electrodes and a dielectric layer to create a charged gas (plasma) plume that creates thrust in a specific direction.  The design provides fluid flow entrainment to direct the induced jet away from the wall, increasing the effective thrust while reducing the shear stress on the surface in the proximity of a plasma actuator.

Tech_Pic_pageBenefits: 

  • Reduces aerodynamic eddies and decreases drag, increasing electricity extraction.
  • Replaces moving mechanical components (such as vortex generators), eliminating weight and lowering the need for maintenance
  • Exhibits reduced shear stress compared to available flow control devices, possibly increasing actuator life
  • Potential to reduce noise by way of virtual aerodynamic shaping
  • The actuators are fully electronic with no moving parts
  • They can withstand high force loadings
  • They can be laminated into the turbine blade surface
  • No slots or cavities are required
  • Actuators can be operated in both steady and unsteady modes
  • Actuators have high bandwidth so they have fast response for feedback control
  • They have low power consumption (2-4 Watts per foot for unsteady operation)

Testing: 
The plasma actuator technology has been tested for months in laboratory conditions.  Based on these tests, In 12 mph winds, Plasma Tech has the ability to increase a turbines electricity output to the grid by 108% by increasing the speed of the blades to 25 mph.  In zero or near zero mph winds, Plasma Tech can substantially increase a turbines output to the grid by increasing the speed of the blades to 8 mph.

This chart was created by our management team to show the potential increase in power provided by Plasma Tech. For example, in 12 mph winds, Plasma Tech can potentially increase a turbine’s electricity output to the grid by 108% by increasing the speed of the blades to 25 mph.