Knight & Carver’s Wind Blade Division has developed an innovative wind blade that produces energy in low wind speed regions. Development was was conducted as part of a $2.8 million shared cost Department of Energy contract to design, fabricate and field test a sweep-twist adaptive blade for utility scale wind turbines as part of the Low Wind Speed Turbine Initiative. The longer-than-conventional blade automatically twists during high wind to reduce loads on the machine thus producing a maximized amount of wind energy. Therefore, longer blades than normal can be safely used in regions regarded as lower-wind production areas. In wind-energy production, the term “low wind speed” means winds of up to 15 knots.
Sized at 27.2 (85 ft) meters x 2.4 meters (7 ft), the Adaptive Sweep Twist Blade is designed both for maximum efficiency at lower-speed wind conditions and to automatically adjust to higher wind gusts when necessary. Production is expected to begin next year.
The company received the 2005 “Outstanding Research and Development Partnership Award” for “Outstanding Research and Development Partnership to Advance Wind Energy Technology” in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy, the University of California at Davis and Sandia National Laboratory in Albuquerque, NM.
The project is one vital element within the Dept. of Energy’s strategy to reduce wind-powered electricity generation costs at low-speed sites, and to open new areas of wind production by utilizing next-generation configurations, designs and concepts. The Low Wind Speed Technology task supports public-private partnerships for multiple large wind system (turbines over 100 kilowatts) to achieve the goal of 3 cents/kWh in class 4 winds by 2012. Much of the nation’s commercial wind power development in recent years has primarily occurred at high-wind sites, thought to be the best sites for producing wind energy. However, many of these sites are located in remote areas that prevent easy access to transmission lines. In addition, such high-wind sites are fast becoming limited.
Located on San Diego Bay with a workforce of 150 employees, the company serves as a facility for the construction and repair of wind-turbine blades, utilized world-wide for cost-efficient energy production. Since its founding in 1972, Knight & Carver has specialized in the building of custom yachts and repair of large-scale vessels.
Knight & Carve Wind Blade Division, National City, CA