Diesel Electric Services and the Brayfoil Turbine - A Disruptive Technology

Diesel Electric Services and the Brayfoil Turbine - A Disruptive Technology
Diesel Electric Services and the Brayfoil Turbine - A Disruptive Technology
Posted on 13 April 2018
  • Company News

An exciting renewable energy solution is being birthed in the workshops of Diesel Electric Services (DES), south of the Johannesburg CBD. Spread over several city blocks, with a staff compliment of approximately 550 employees, DES are geared to providing the nation with many power solutions and services, but this forward thinking company has turned its attention to a little recognised source of power in cities - The Wind. Not well known is that wind around buildings can be up to 300% more than the ambient wind velocity, far more than the normal 40% achieved on tall towers used on wind farms. This massive wind resource is unused, because propeller turbines cannot cope with turbulence, and suffer from blade inertia, noise and sheer visual scale. For these, reasons embedded power is limited to micro turbines and solar PV

This is about to change. The new turbine uses a South African invention called the BRAYFOIL. This wing reverses lift from one surface to the other, and freely rotates on an axis to set an automatic angle of attack to the wind, or water. Invented by architect Robert Bray, this is a breakthrough in aerodynamics, and changes wings in Aircraft, Yachting with autonomous wing sails, and hydropower from tidal, river and ocean currents. Able to change camber and thickness, the appropriate angle of attack is assumed as it morphs from symmetrical to opposed high lift under-camber sections. The turbine is made from transparent polycarbonate that reduces visual impact. The wings are mounted on vertical axis, and freely rotate by weather cocking, and revers their section, providing lift at both the front and rear of the rotary cycle. Turning below wind speed, and geared to standard generators, it will make little noise due to the slow speed of the aerofoil shaped wings, is bird friendly, and is largely invisible. A wing will be tested in the CSIR wind tunnel early in 2018. Projections are for around 20KW (mechanical) in 39kph winds with six 3m high wings. This disruptive technology is predicted to be up to 15 times cheaper than Solar PV, and can produce far more power on a given area of roof, and operate more hours per day. It threatens traditional wind farms, as no land, grid feed-in permits, connections or upgrades are required, and the power will be cheaper to building owners on a PPA.

Who says everything has been invented! Watch this space...