Innovations that increase the Output of Wind Turbines PDF Print E-mail

wind lensAerodynamic inno- vation in Japan has produced a wind turbine design called the "wind lens" that includes a brim diffuser around the blades that accelerates the wind flow as it enters the turbine.  A wind turbine with a wind lens produces up to three times as much electricity as conventional wind turbines. 

The nuclear crisis at the Fukushima plant has greatly increased Japanese people's interest in renewable energy.  Wind and solar power currently provide only 0.3% of Japan's power generation. 

Because more of Japan's wind turbines would be sea based due to Japan's small land mass, they would be more expensive than land based turbines.  The wind lens would substantially reduce the cost.  Another wind turbine design called the Wind Tamer also uses a diffuser that doubles output and reduces noise from the turbine making it possible to produce electricity economically at lower wind speeds.  See article and video:  Japanese breakthrough will make wind power cheaper than nuclear.

Researcher Rajnish Sharma, of the University of Auckland in New Zealand
has designed a wind turbine that increases power production by 100 percent over the course of a year and even makes it possible to put turbines in places where they were uneconomical before by giving turbines blades that extend longer for lower speed winds, shorter for faster winds.  Standard turbine design is a compromise between making blades long enough to catch lower speed winds and making them short enough to survive in high-speed winds. 

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MN's Leading Election System

With Secretary of State Steve Simon


steve simon


Listen to Secretary of State Steve Simon's excellent presentation on MN's outstanding election system emulated by many other states at the Think Again Brooklyns forum January 19, 2016.  Secretary Simon includes ways in which it can be improved, and he explains why it is important to vote.  He concludes with a quote from a tee shirt:  "Failure to vote is not an act of rebellion.  It is an act of surrender."

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How Oregon Became the Easiest Place to Vote in the US

By Lornet Turnbull
YES! Magazine
October 8, 2016


In January, Oregon became the first state in the country to begin automatically registering eligible citizens to vote when they obtain or renew their driver's licenses or state IDs, completely shifting the burden of voter registration from the individual to the government. 

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