WAM technology has several distinct siting advantages versus traditional fossil and most renewable power generation technologies.
WAM technology is viable in 10x the locations as conventional wind machines. Current wind turbine economics work only where the wind blows the hardest. In the U.S., for example, that represents about 7% of the land mass. Because WAM technology accelerates the ambient wind by greater than a factor of 2x it is viable in wind speed regimes representing almost 70% of the U.S. land mass. That translates into a potential to grow the market for wind power by a factor of 10 through exploiting the considerable untapped opportunity in low wind speed areas.
Conventional Wind Viable Sites Coverage
WAM Viable Sites Coverage
As such, WAM technology is uniquely positioned to provide large amounts of DE because the majority of people, hence power demand, in the U.S. and around the world are in low wind speed areas. This reduces the massive investment and the right-of-way permits required to develop and expand transmission networks which would otherwise be required to supply the growing urban energy needs with centralized power generation of all traditional and renewable fuel types.
Conventional Wind Electric Load Coverage
WAM Electric Load Coverage
“NOT IN MY BACK YARD” (NIMBY)
That sounds great, but NIMBY issues frequently challenge the siting of power generation equipment for all fuel types in close proximity to where people live and work. Unlike fossil fuels, however, there are no emissions to cause local air pollution with wind power. There is no inbound fuel supply or outbound fuel residue material handling requirements characteristic of traditional fuels which can burden transport infrastructure and compromise safety.
In addition, WAM technology addresses many of the licensing and permitting objections often encountered by conventional wind turbines because its rotors are located in a nozzle. Noise, if any, is absorbed by the nozzle material. Turbine rotors located within nozzles eliminate the threat of ice throw and blade throw while preventing shadow flicker. In addition, screens placed on both ends of the nozzle protect aviary wildlife from the turbine rotor.
While not a panacea, being visible is not an issue in many settings because unlike a conventional wind turbine, WAM technology has a framed structure and is not just a “free spinning blade”. It blends into the as-built environment or can be camouflaged by applying a reflective coating.
Building Rooftop As Built Environment
Industrial Brownfield As Built Environment
Reflective Coating Camouflage
In fact, there are advantages to seeing WAM technology in some situations. Architects can use it as external building design feature. On the roof of a Home Depot, Best Buy, Whole Foods or industrial building it can be painted in the company’s colors and display the company logo. As such, it provides commercial benefits and visibly indicates an enterprise’s commitment to the use of low cost clean energy.