Zephyr Corp., a Japanese manufacturer of small wind power systems, globally released a general-purpose small wind turbine "Airdolphin GTO" on November 1, 2009, targeting the grid-connected turbine market that is expected to grow worldwide. This model can be connected to the utility grid through commercially available solar invertors without any modification. The manufacturer's suggested price of the turbine is 450,000 yen (about US$5,000) including tax.
In the United States, the Obama administration decided to install a total of 100,000 units of small wind power generators in schools for educational purposes. Meanwhile in Japan, the installation of solar power systems as well as small wind power generators is being promoted as part of the nation's school renovation program called the "School New Deal." Furthermore, under a new scheme introduced in November 2009, surplus electricity produced by residential solar power systems can be sold back to utility companies. This scheme is expected to be expanded by the new government led by the Democratic Party of Japan to cover electricity generated from other renewable energy sources in addition to solar power.
In 2002, Zephyr launched a joint development project in collaboration with partners from the government, academia and industry, which include the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, the University of Tokyo and Toray Industries, Inc. The project developed the Airdolphin series in 2006, and the company has exported the product to more than 30 countries around the world. The power generation capacity (actual measurements) of the Airdolphin GTO is 3 kW/h a day with an average wind speed of 5 m/s, 4.5 kW/h with a wind speed of 6 m/s, and 20 kW/h with a wind speed of 11 m/s.
The installation of Airdolphin GTO is easy and less costly because of the use of commercially available solar inverters. The Airdolphin series, developed with state-of-the-art technologies, features low-noise blades designed based on the shape of owl wings, a tail unit using the Swing Rudder system designed to mimic fish fins; and screw-less casing inspired by Japanese traditional woodwork. In June 2009, the Airdolphin development team won the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Award sponsored by the Cabinet Office and others. Recognized for its development approach based on a partnership between industry, academia and the government, as well as for the outstanding performance and commercial viability of the Airdolphin, the team became the first winner from the small wind turbine industry.
New Japanese Wind Turbine Allows Small-scale Users to Sell Electricity to Power Companies (Related JFS article)
Japan's Market for Small Wind Power Systems Growing Rapidly (Related JFS article)
Zephyr Corp. official website
Posted: 2010/01/08 06:00:15 AM