Infrastructure
Russian scientists develop Arctic wind turbine

Russian scientists develop Arctic wind turbine

Scientists from South Ural State University have upgraded wind turbines to survive the hostile Arctic environment, RIA Novosti reports.

It would be cost effective to install small wind turbines in some coastal Arctic regions where wind speeds exceed five to seven meters per second because they would be able to harness more wind energy, the news agency reports. But rotor blade speeds need to be limited for safety reasons, in case wind speeds exceed 11 meters per second. Experts have developed an electromechanical servo-drive for slowing rotation speeds and preventing wind turbines from attaining high speeds. Minimal energy is expended on slowing the mechanism.

The University is involved in the 5/100 project to boost the competitiveness of leading Russian universities among major global research and education centers.

"The system we are developing is unique. The very first gale-force wind would recoup the unique system that we are making in just a week or a month. The cost of our electromechanical servo-drive would account for just 2-3 percent of the entire wind turbine's cost, and it would have a 35-year service life," inventor Yevgeny Sirotkin told RIA Novosti.

According to the agency, not a single foreign-made wind turbine could withstand powerful winds during tests on the Kanin Peninsula in the Arctic because of their ineffective control systems that can only operate in more friendly environments. Therefore it was decided to equip these units with multiple-redundancy/emergency control/braking systems.