Apr 27, 2016

Blade-less wind turbine used in India

2 min
A Tunisian start-up is introducing a blade-less wind turbine, according to a

A Tunisian start-up is introducing a blade-less wind turbine, according to a story by Reuters, inspired by the design of traditional sailing boats. The Saphonian wind energy system is soon to be used on a project in India.

Saphon Energy said the design of the 'sail' on the turbine is more efficient than the usual blades, as well as being both safer and quieter, with the ability to convert wind to energy at around 80 percent. Standard wind turbines can convert 59 percent of the energy from wind.

Saphon Energy's Anis Aouini told Reuters: "This project that is planned for India consisting of 50 Saphonians producing 20 kilowatts of power, a total of one mega watt, will be a wind farm. This power produced in south India, could meet the demands of a small village of 1,000 houses even if the energy will be directly injected to the general Indian electricity network. But it's an approximation to ease the understanding for viewers: it's about 1,000 houses in India."

The initial idea for the Saphonian was to remove the whole rotating system of a standard wind turbine and to replace it by a non-rotational sail-shaped body. The related wind converter is bladeless and rotationless, and it follows a back and forth 3D knot motion, largely inspired from sailing boats.

The company received the support of Microsoft 4Afrika back in 2014.

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Apr 23, 2021

Drax advances biomass strategy with Pinnacle acquisition

Dominic Ellis
2 min
Drax is advancing biomass following Pinnacle acquisition it reported in a trading update

Drax' recently completed acquisition of Pinnacle more than doubles its sustainable biomass production capacity and significantly reduces its cost of production, it reported in a trading update.

The Group’s enlarged supply chain will have access to 4.9 million tonnes of operational capacity from 2022. Of this total, 2.9 million tonnes are available for Drax’s self-supply requirements in 2022, which will rise to 3.4 million tonnes in 2027.

The £424 million acquisition of the Canadian biomass pellet producer supports Drax' ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and will make a "significant contribution" in the UK cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 (click here).

Drax CEO Will Gardiner said its Q1 performance had been "robust", supported by the sale of Drax Generation Enterprise, which holds four CCGT power stations, to VPI Generation.

This summer Drax will undertake maintenance on its CfD(2) biomass unit, including a high-pressure turbine upgrade to reduce maintenance costs and improve thermal efficiency, contributing to lower generation costs for Drax Power Station.

In March, Drax secured Capacity Market agreements for its hydro and pumped storage assets worth around £10 million for delivery October 2024-September 2025.

The limitations on BECCS are not technology but supply, with every gigatonne of CO2 stored per year requiring approximately 30-40 million hectares of BECCS feedstock, according to the Global CCS Institute. Nonetheless, BECCS should be seen as an essential complement to the required, wide-scale deployment of CCS to meet climate change targets, it concludes.

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