May 17, 2020

Concept Turbines that are Revolutionizing Wind Power

4 min
Enercon Wind Turbine
Kites Scientist from Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands flew a kite and sent it souring to great heights – electrical heights, th...


Scientist from Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands flew a kite and sent it souring to great heights – electrical heights, that is. The team built a 10 square meter kite that generated enough power to power ten family homes. That wasn’t the last of this childhood pastime, as scientists continued to explore even bigger options – options that today have taken them to Laddermill. Laddermill is the expected “kite site” where a large number of these flying machines work together, in both upward and downward motions, to generate enough electricity to power up to 100,000 homes. The concept will create a rotation with the possibility of generating roughly 100MW. Though still a work in progress, local master students, PhD students and PhD graduates tested out one of those kites last January.

Video to include:!

But these guys aren’t the only ones looking to harness the power of the classic childhood toy. Kit Gen Research also started putting kites to the test in 2006 with a similar result. Like wind turbines, these kites use the power of the wind at high altitudes to power homes. Built more for a kite surfer than an afternoon spent at the park, the Kite Gen project was initiated in Italy’s Politecnico di Torino as an alternative to the classic wind turbine. Rather that the hefty traditional turbine, which can often be bulky and disrupt environmental patterns in cities, these pieces move with the motion of the city’s landscape.

Helix Wind Turbines

The Helix turbines are not only suitable for everyday devices and residences, but they work well enough for the professionals to get involved - football professionals, that is. Helix Wind, Corp. was recently awarded contract with the Philadelphia Eagles to make Lincoln Financial Field the first ever sustainable sports stadium. Helix’s Savonius turbines exist just 35 feet off the ground and can generate power in as low as 10 mph. The simple design makes it easy for businesses and residences to use, for areas with wind speeds greater than 14 mph and electricity costs higher than $0.15/kWhr, and where small wind turbine installation zoning permits are allowed. These small wind energy systems can generate 400 watts to 500 kilowatts, just enough to power a home or small business.

Aard Concept

When the wind dies down, will your energy fade out? That is a question that industrial designer Arttu-Matti Immonen easily answered with a design that has revolutionized the term “turbine.” In an unrivaled move, Immonen fused solar paneling and wind turbines to create the Aard Concept. The design features both flexible photovoltaic modules that claim the sun as their energy source, with a spherical shape connected to a generator that produces electricity during strong winds.
It doesn’t look half bad, either. Like a modern art piece standing tall in the grass, the Aard Concept is essentially a large solar sphere that will collect enough power during the afternoon shine to start spinning by night.

Enercon E-126

Why be bold when you can, quite simply, go big? The Enercon E-126 is one of the world’s largest wind turbines with a 413 feet rotor diameter and strength to power 1,776 American homes. The design is the latest from Enercon, who has set up shop all over the world and placed the big one, specifically, in Emden, Germany. Already experts in the biz, Enercon’s E-126 has a hub height of 443 meters with a gearless, single blade adjustment turbine. Without the gearbox attaching its turbine blades to the generator, there’s a bit more strength when it comes to “side furling.” It’s traditional in all other senses, but its cost – thanks to its size – is like a three for one deal.


It’s probably the most unusual looking wind turbine on our list, but it’s also the most practical. The Loopwing Wind Turbine exposed itself at the 2006 Eco-Production Exhibition in Japan, and hasn’t stopped generating buzz – and electricity – since. The concept was designed by Loopwing, a small Japanese developer that opened in 2003. The original piece, “e1500”, achieved 43 percent power at 8 mph. But it’s the “TRONC” that stands out with home use featuring a hybrid generation system of a PV panel and the company’s own Loopwing Wind Turbine Theta 1500. Supplying a burst of power for your alarm clock or light, the item can supply energy in even the most populated areas thanks to the Loopwing’s unique shape.


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Oct 19, 2020

Itronics successfully tests manganese recovery process

Scott Birch
3 min
Nevada firm aims to become the primary manganese producer in the United States
Nevada firm aims to become the primary manganese producer in the United States...

Itronics - a Nevada-based emerging cleantech materials growth company that manufacturers fertilisers and produces silver - has successfully tested two proprietary processes that recover manganese, with one process recovering manganese, potassium and zinc from paste produced by processing non-rechargeable alkaline batteries. The second recovers manganese via the company’s Rock Kleen Technology.

Manganese, one of the four most important industrial metals and widely used by the steel industry, has been designated by the US Federal Government as a "critical mineral." It is a major component of non-rechargeable alkaline batteries, one of the largest battery categories sold globally.

The use of manganese in EV batteries is increasing as EV battery technology is shifting to use of more nickel and manganese in battery formulations. But according to the US Department of Interior, there is no mine production of manganese in the United States. As such, Itronics is using its Rock Kleen Technology to test metal recoverability from mine tailings obtained from a former silver mine in western Nevada that has a high manganese content. 

In a statement, Itronics says that its Rock Kleen process recovers silver, manganese, zinc, copper, lead and nickel. The company says that it has calculated – based on laboratory test results – that if a Rock Kleen tailings process is put into commercial production, the former mine site would become the only primary manganese producer in the United States.

Itronics adds that it has also tested non-rechargeable alkaline battery paste recovered by a large domestic battery recycling company to determine if it could use one of its hydrometallurgical processes to solubilize the manganese, potassium, and zinc contained in the paste. This testing was successful, and Itronics was able to produce material useable in two of its fertilisers, it says.

"We believe that the chemistry of the two recovery processes would lend itself to electrochemical recovery of the manganese, zinc, and other metals. At this time electrochemical recovery has been tested for zinc and copper,” says Dr John Whitney, Itronics president. 

“Itronics has been reviewing procedures for electrochemical recovery of manganese and plans to move this technology forward when it is appropriate to do so and has acquired electro-winning equipment needed to do that.

"Because of the two described proprietary technologies, Itronics is positioned to become a domestic manganese producer on a large scale to satisfy domestic demand. The actual manganese products have not yet been defined, except for use in the Company's GOLD'n GRO Multi-Nutrient Fertilisers. However, the Company believes that it will be able to produce chemical manganese products as well as electrochemical products," he adds.

Itronics’ research and development plant is located in Reno, about 40 miles west of the Tesla giga-factory. Its planned cleantech materials campus, which will be located approximately 40 miles south of the Tesla factory, would be the location where the manganese products would be produced.

Panasonic is operating one of the world's largest EV battery factories at the Tesla location. However, Tesla and other companies have announced that EV battery technology is shifting to use of nickel-manganese batteries. Itronics is positioned and located to become a Nevada-0based supplier of manganese products for battery manufacturing as its manganese recovery technologies are advanced, the company states.

A long-term objective for Itronics is to become a leading producer of high purity metals, including the U.S. critical metals manganese and tin, using the Company's breakthrough hydrometallurgy, pyrometallurgy, and electrochemical technologies. ‘Additionally, Itronics is strategically positioned with its portfolio of "Zero Waste Energy Saving Technologies" to help solve the recently declared emergency need for domestic production of Critical Minerals from materials located at mine sites,’ the statement continues.

The Company's growth forecast centers upon its 10-year business plan designed to integrate its Zero Waste Energy Saving Technologies and to grow annual sales from $2 million in 2019, to $113 million in 2025.

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