This Japanese design, the LoopWing wind turbine, was unveiled at the 2006 Japanese Eco-Products Exhibition. At that time, it was said that the turbine was aimed at homeowners, and featured a unique wing design that operated with low vibration and as wind speeds as low as 1.6 m/sec.
Efficiency specifications were less detailed. It is claimed that 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. A year later LoopWing won the Tokyo Technical Venture Award 2007, a prize given by Tokyo Metropolitan Government to those venture businesses attempting to bring about innovative technologies and products with the aim of vitalizing Tokyo and creating employment in the city.
The LoopWing uses loop-shaped blades – helping to overcome problems suffered by conventional wind turbines, such as the noises created by tip vortex, vibration, relatively short life span, and the heavy weight of the turbine. As the turbine’s blade is looped, it has no pointed tip to create a vortex, reducing noise and drag force. The technology uses waterproof oil-bath bearings and a sealing system from marine engineering, achieving what the manufacturer’s say is 20-year design life.
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 produce an increased tolerance to vibration. It’s also claimed that because some people have an aversion to the rotating knife-like blades of traditional wind turbines, the LoopWing’s slow-rotation and unusual appearance goes some way towards mitigating this.
At the Renewable Energy World event last year, one of the models of LoopWing type wind powergenerator called the TRONC was shown. It features a hybrid solar and wind energy generator and it doesn’t need extra source of energy. The TRONC has a small windmill and sunlight panel mounted on top plus the familiar LoopWing style blade, 1.5 meters in diameter. The South Korean company LoopWing Korea, is planning to create and market this hybrid renewable energy generator.
Unusually, LoopWing and the world famous craft kit manufacturer Tamiya came together to produce a craft model that lets you see the LoopWing in miniature action and see how it works.
The turbine drives a generator that then charges a little model car that plugs onto the top of the generator body. The energy is collected in a super capacitor that can then run the car for about 3 minutes on a full charge.