Dual rotor wind turbines
“Could we make wind turbines more efficient by adding a second rotor?”
The wind turbine is one of the finest inventions that humanity has conjured. It is simply amazing how these machines can take in the kinetic energy of the wind and transfer it into power to be used by humans. However, the designs of these machines often come with a problem. The rotor of the turbine, one of the most important components of the device, disrupts the surrounding wind, inducing turbulence and lowering the amount of energy to be obtained. So how could we use our engineering mindsets to solves this problem? Well, Aerospace Engineers Anupam Sharma and Hui Hu of Iowa State University made a thorough investigation on this problem, and discovered that one way to solve this problem is actually to add a second rotor to the turbine! This would not only increase the amount of energy absorbed, but also prevent much of the unwanted turbulence. This team is currently working on optimizing the design, such as the location of the turbine, the direction it should take, the size, and what kind of airfoil the dual rotor wind turbine should have.