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Responding to Climate Change 2011

Home | Spotlight on Energy | Loopwing Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks
 
Loopwing wind turbine

Blow, winds, and
crack your cheeks

Loopwing

Wind power generates almost no net greenhouse gas emissions, save from turbine manufacture and transport and costs have really fallen over the past few decades. Loopwing, an innovative wind turbine company based in Japan, explains how technological and efficiency improvements allow today’s turbines to produce power at a much lower cost.

While holding a tremendous potential, the small wind industry has long-faced barriers. Major internal barriers are its high cost, poor technology, political lack of support and planning permission and consumer opinion. Loopwing offers new values to the market, a safe, quiet and sleek operation while achieving competitive efficiency and durability rather than trading them off.

Quiet, safe and efficient

The Loopwing technology uses with loop-shaped blades – this uniquely shaped wind energy generator enables wind turbines to overcome problems suffered by conventional wind turbines, such as the noises created by tip vortex, vibration, their short life span, secure materials and the heavy weight of the turbine.

As the turbine’s blade is looped, it has no pointed tip to create a vortex, removing the very cause of noise and drag force.

Each blade and the main shaft are connected at two ends; with the tip, they form a three-point truss structure where each point is supported against two others to tolerate vibration. The turbine is equipped with three to four fail-safes ensuring safety in typhoons or even during power outages.

With the globular rotor capturing winds three-dimensionally and powered by its proprietary and the proprietary non-cogging generator, the turbine rotates at wind speeds as low as 2m/s while achieving over 40% co-efficiency at around 8m/s in wind tunnel experiments. The rotating knife-like blades of propeller wind turbines can scare people, but its slow-rotation goes some way towards mitigating this.

In addition to the robust structure, the technology uses waterproof oil-bath bearings and a sealing system from marine engineering, achieving a 20-year design life.

Combating cost

Loopwing’s advantages, however, has been balanced out by the high price of the products. The company aims to reduce the retail price by starting mass-production and strengthening its supply chain. From 2010, it started to develop a low-speed wind turbine. The main purpose of the development is to reduce the cost of production by integrating three components into one unit. This should greatly lower cost and provide Loopwing with a further competitive edge in the industry.

With a focus on international markets in Europe and North America, Loopwing is looking to extend its wings and reach beyond the Japanese markets. Northern Europe has rich wind resources with national governments working their way to lighter dependency on fossil fuels. Ambitious carbon mitigation goals for North America and Oceania have a tremendous potential for micro-generation with many remote dwellings with large lands. Power infrastructure in developing countries is catching up with economic growth, resulting in booming demands for decentralised practical power supplies.

These markets can be penetrated quickly and efficiently by working with local distribution partners and environmental technology transfer projects. The company will also consider more aggressive modes of entry such as establishing a joint venture and licensing. As of today, the company has established cooperative relationships with a number of partners in the areas of governmental, research, academia and distribution, and continually looks for local business partners to cover manufacture, distribution and marketing.

Loopwing – the business
The company focuses on development, manufacturing and distribution of:
  • wind turbine generators (small to supersize);
  • ocean current turbine generators (small river use to supersize
    ocean use);
  • blowers, fans, and air purifiers; and,
  • wing for all other fluid machinery.

Loopwing logo
Loopwing
www.loopwing.co.jp/en/entop

 
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