A retrofit for wind turbines that channels incoming wind onto the blades to address root leakage.

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The PowerCone® is a turbine retrofit that channels incoming wind onto the blades to address root leakage, while directing more flow to outer parts of the turbine. The result is not just more power, but power from a place where no bigger blade or smarter software can find it.

Here’s how: At the core of wind turbines is a problem that robs them of power. It’s called Root Leakage, and it draws potential power away from the blades and generates turbulence.

Root leakage is essentially a problem of airflow. To solve it, we turned to two of the natural world’s most effective ways of moving through fluids: the kingfisher and the maple seed.

The kingfisher owes its reputation to how its beak allows it to plunge through the water with barely a ripple — in effect moving the fluid around itself at a precise rate, a phenomenon known as Time-Dependant-Energy-Transfer. The PowerCone draws on these principles, directing wind from the central root section to outer radial spans of the blade and channeling it smoothly onto its surface. Further, its presence causes a local area of high pressure, nudging wind to bend radially outwards upwind of the rotor.

As a maple seed falls to the ground, it moves through the air with a pattern of least resistance, following its coning angle. This allows the maple seed to deal with turbulent air by interacting with the flow over a longer time-span, at some acute angle to the incoming flow. The PowerCone’s blades follow the seed’s elegant cues: relying on the same principles of Time-Dependant-Energy-Transfer, absorbing gusts and reducing loads. This geometry also allows the PowerCone to increase the effective flow velocity on the blade by wrapping around the wind turbine’s blades — increasing torque, decreasing cut-in speeds, and increasing the turbine’s capacity factor.

The PowerCone attaches directly to the hub of a wind turbine and co-rotates with the rotor, helping it to capture more of the wind that’s already blowing. It redistributes wind to enhance the performance of existing turbines, lowering cut-in speeds, increasing torque and ultimately makes the turbine more effective and efficient.

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