Weaver Wind Energy, a company from Ithaca, NY is developing a new system for wind turbines that knows which way the wind blows and what actions it should take in order to shut them down in case of imminent damage.
Art Weaver, the company founder, makes an analogy with car gearing: “If you put the motor of your car in first gear, and you put your foot on the accelerator, and you see the RPMs go up to six or seven thousand, there’s a redline somewhere,” Weaver said. “If you go beyond that redline for too long you will burn up your automobile motor. You (can) also burn up a wind turbine.”
While still in R&D phase, Weaver says his firm will be able to release working products by 2014. Government incentives will cover a third of the $60,000 price tag for a 5-kilowatt wind turbine.
Weaver looks at a 20-year lifespan of his wind turbines, and so he says they will be protected by layers of safeguards and redundancy. “We would endeavor to produce a machine that is also up and running 99.9 percent of the time,” he said. “We’d like (our turbines) to operate at that level of reliability for its operational life, which we look at as 20 years.”
Weaver Wind Energy’s turbines will be manufactured in Ithaca and sold locally, then expand to new locations.