Uprise Energy has developed a wind turbine that is portable and easier to maintain in numerous ways. It is called the Uprise Portable Power Center. By portable, the company means that it can actually be moved without digging it out of the ground and completely pulling it apart, but it’s still quite a beast.
Normally, wind turbines have to be assembled from many parts and then mounted with their bases in the ground or on a sturdy surface. In order to move them, they are either demolished due to their almost permanent installations (for large-scale turbines), or they have to be dug out of the ground, or unbolted from their surfaces.
What makes this new turbine stand out is the fact that it can literally fold itself back into a container the size of a standard 40′ ISO shipping container and be driven to its destination with a tow truck.
When it reaches its destination, contractors can put the blades on at ground level, and then it erects itself.
The electricity generation capacity (often called nameplate capacity) of the turbine is 50 kW, or 50,000 watts. The manufacturer claims that it is efficient and can generate electricity at a lower cost than American utility companies normally charge for it (the nationwide average is 11 cents per kWh).
The Uprise Portable Power is optimized for operation in environments with low, steady, or gusty winds. It rotates 360° to face the wind in order to maximize performance, and it also adjusts the blade speed and pitch (this involves adjusting the blades’ position while they are on the hub).
When the wind speed is high enough to damage it, the portable plant actually lays the turbine down, unlike other turbines which activate their brakes to prevent the turbines from turning too fast, because it isn’t drag that breaks them, but inertia.
This turbine can actually be maintained on the ground so that service technicians do not have to go on top of the turbine 40 feet above the ground. This might reduce the labour cost.
The turbine also includes power storage of some kind. “Excess power is stored and power delivery is stabilized,” the company writes. “When wind power exceeds demand, energy is stored. When wind energy is low, the Uprise machine draws on the stored power.”
It is refreshing to see unique designs, especially when they are so innovative. Whether or not they are viable, it is possible to learn from unique/new designs sometimes. You can get some good ideas from a bad design!
It’s not clear at this point if this turbine will be competitive or not. What are your thoughts?