How it Works

Vertical-axis wind turbine (VAWT)

Vertical Axis Wind Turbine (VAWT)

Simplicity makes perfect sense

A vertical-axis wind turbine’s (VAWTs) main rotor shaft is set vertically and the main components are located at the base of the turbine. Among the advantages of this arrangement are that the generator can be placed close to bottom of the turbine, which makes these components easier to service.  The air foils (or blades) are suspended perpendicular to the ground and in the case of ArborWind’s design are connected at the top and bottom of the rotor shaft and form a natural parabolic shape.  Because the blades are connected at both ends, instead of a cantilevered airfoil with a traditional propeller wind turbine, the blades undergo much less stress and can be much lighter and lower cost.  VAWTs also do not need to be pointed into the wind since the blade arrangement is omni-directional.  This considerably reduces the cost and complexity of equipment and controls needed for orientation.  With a three axis rotor design, the turbine is self starting and can produce power at low wind speeds.


Historical (1980’s) research VAWT by DOE and US Department of Agriculture with 625 kw generator.

With its balanced approach, a VAWT produces much lower stress on the support structure and the height of the tower is below the average wind capture zone which also assists in reducing tower costs.

ArborWind has selected direct drive generators to produce maximum power output, reduce complexity, and eliminate the high cost of gears.  These advance generators can operate at varying rotational speeds which allow the turbine to be controlled at varying turning velocities to maximize power output.  Unlike most current horizontal wind turbines, ArborWind’s turbine generally changes speed as wind speed increases to optimize power production.  Noise is low when the wind is low and is generally similar to the background noise on windy days. The design also eliminates blade pitch motors, yaw motions, and controls needed for these complex motion systems.

There was considerable government research investment in the 1970’s and early 1980’s toward commercializing VAWT’s and some were built at very large scale.  A number of tough technical challenges remained unsettled from this earlier work which had yielded unreliability and high costs.  ArborWind has resolved these issues through advanced computer engineering, advanced material science, and advanced control systems to deliver a patented solution to these remaining issues.  Solving these problems produces a simpler and cheaper way to derive power from the wind.

Horizontal versus Vertical

Horizontal Axis Wind Turbine (HAWT) versus ArborWind VAWT

ArborWind was granted a U.S. patent for its design concepts in May 2011, # 7,948,111

Vertical Axis Wind System.  Global patent protection has been granted in other major countries or is currently in process.