Generate Power with the Savonius Wind Turbine
An Introduction to Savonius Wind Turbine
Wind, A pure, clean, renewable source of energy that we have been harnessing successfully for centuries. From the early windmills that would pump water for farming to the simple use of the wind in our sails, to giving our planes the power of flight, wind has been a consistent and reliable source of energy for mankind. And now, with the search for energy sources that don’t emit harmful pollutants into the air, the world is taking a closer look at how we can develop new and more efficient ways to generate electricity from the power of the wind.
One particular model of wind turbine that has been developed is called the Savonius wind turbine or S-rotor. The Savonius wind turbine is a type of vertical axis wind turbine or VAWT. It was created by Sigurd J. Savonius, a Finnish engineer, in 1922, although the very first to attempt to build this type of wind structure was Johann Ernst Elias Bessler in 1745, in Furstenburg, Germany. However, he fell to his death during construction of the windmill and sadly the building was never completed although it still stands to this day.
The Savonius Wind Turbine at Work
The Savonius Wind Turbine is a drag type vertical axis wind turbine, and it operates by cupping and dragging the wind, causing the rotor to turn and generate electricity. The Savonius Wind Turbine usually has about two or three scoops or cups to catch the wind. The design allows the turbine to rotate relatively slowly, however, there is a high torque yielded from the rotation.
Unlike the Darrieus Wind Turbine, which uses airfoils and lift force to turn the blades, the Savonius Wind Turbine cannot rotate faster than the speed of the wind, making it an inefficient turbine for commercial use. However, the Savonius Wind Turbine is an effective electricity generator for residential areas as they are extremely quiet, easy to build, and relatively small 1.
The Savonius Wind Turbine is by far the simplest and most economical wind turbine design 2. You could even build one yourself from the many designs available on the internet using simple materials you can get at your local hardware store. These small scale Savonius Wind Turbines can be used for anything that requires a small amount of power such as an electric gate, outdoor lights, or pumping water.
Savonius Wind Turbine Is Perfect for Small Wind
The type of wind harnessing that the Savonius Wind Turbine can create efficiently is called small wind, and is an important part of the solution to global warming. Small wind energy is now one of the fastest growing forms of domestic and residential electricity generation and is a great investment for homeowners and small business owners.
Objections to small wind have usually revolved around the height and aesthetics of the actual turbine. To capture wind and efficiently generate energy, the typical wind turbine design needs to be extremely high. However, the Savonius Wind Turbine operates efficiently lower to the ground and some designs are extremely elegant to watch. And, because the Savonius Wind Turbine operates at low wind speeds, it’s perfect for areas that might not get as much wind as others as it is still able to effectively harness the wind for residential use.
One example is from a company called Helixwind that started in 2006. They debuted their turbines at the Burning Man 2007 and now offer their vertical axis wind turbines to the public. Their models start at $6,500 and qualify for the 30 percent federal tax credit initiated by The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
The systems can also be used in some areas for net metering, which mean that any excess electricity produced by your wind turbine can be fed back into the electric grid and could qualify you for a credit at the end of the year from the power company 3. Net metering currently isn’t available in all states, however, the number of states adopting this concept is growing.
The idea of small wind is rapidly catching on in the United States. A recent report from the American Wind Energy Association reported that there has been a dramatic increase in the small wind market – almost 78 percent growth in 2008! The United States also sold about half of the total wind turbine production worldwide – a total of $77 million 4.
This sudden growth of small wind production could be because of the new federal tax credit, the decrease in costs of the actual turbines, or the many different designs that are now available to the average consumer. Most consumers want to do what they can to help the environment and participate in the green movement.
The Necessity of Wind Power and the Savonius Wind Turbine
There are so many reasons in today’s world to research and develop new sources of clean energy. Right now, the majority of our energy comes from petroleum, natural gas, and coal – energy that has serious negative consequences on the environment. These resources create greenhouse gases and are responsible for global warming. They also emit the main culprit of acid rain – sulfur dioxide.
Worldwide, commercial use of wind power is increasing with Denmark, Spain, and Portugal receiving 20 percent of its electricity from the wind 5. And while the United States only has about 1 percent of energy production coming from wind power, US citizens are doing their share by beginning to embrace wind power for residential areas.
With the increase in oil and natural gas prices hitting the United States hard in this down economy, finding renewable sources of energy that can be found within our own borders has become extremely important. Only by embracing these natural, clean sources of energy, such as wind power, can we truly minimize our impact on the environment and create a sustainable source of reliable power that we can harvest right within our own borders – making us the self-sufficient entity we desperately need to become.
How to Power Your Home with Your Own Savonius Wind Turbine
Simple design of Savonius turbine makes it very easy to use for residential wind power. Below is a video explaining how to build a turbine for few dollars in your own back yard. This looks ugly and noisy. But with little more fine-tuning, I am sure this can become a very effective way of producing electricity. This video series contains two parts. First part is about building the rotor and then the second part on generating electricity using that rotor. You might not have to all the steps shown for yourself. You can buy some parts from the shop than building it. Thanks For the creator of this video series
Part 1 – How to Build the Rotor
Part 2- Generating Electricity with the Turbine
1. Savonius Wind Turbines. http://www.reuk.co.uk/Savonius-Wind-Turbines.htm
2. Energy Saving Now. Practical Wind Generated Electricity. http://energy.saving.nu/wind/winddesignprimer.shtml
3. Helixwind. http://www.helixwind.com/en/index.php
4. Jetson Green. Small Wind Market Surges 78%, US Manufacturers Making Money! http://www.jetsongreen.com/2009/06/small-wind-market-grows-78-percent-in-2008.html
5. American Wind Energy Association. Wind Power – Clean and Reliable. Http://www.awea.org/utility/pdf/wind_and_reliability_factsheet.pdf