Piezoelectric Assisted Vertical Axis Wind Turbines
Wind power is typically exemplified by large horizontal axis wind turbines (HAWT) that can take up acres of space, yet for most densely populated urban areas, these turbines are not practical. Vertical axis wind turbines (VAWT) have long been overshadowed by traditional HAWT; however, VAWT are much more compact, and it has been shown that an array of VAWT has a much larger energy density per square kilometer than that of HAWT. Yet in low wind conditions, VAWT are unable to create a substantial amount of energy. This issue can be addressed with the use of piezoelectric ceramics. These ceramics can convert the energy harvested from vibrations into usable electrical energy. After embedding piezoelectric ceramics in the blades of VAWT, the energy output of the turbine can then be measured and compared to that of a non-piezoelectric assisted VAWT. This comparison will determine if the implementation of piezoelectric ceramics is an effective solution to the mechanical limitations of VAWT. If the piezoelectric assisted vertical axis wind turbine is found to produce more energy than the non-piezoelectric assisted vertical axis wind turbine, the implementation of piezoelectric ceramics could prove to be a feasible solution for densely populated environments.