Apple Patents New Wind Technology

Wind turbineApple has obtained a patent related to techniques for storing rotational energy from a wind turbine as heat and using the stored heat to subsequently generate electricity on demand.

Apple will then follow Google into the wind energy sector.

The company plans to develop a wind turbine that generates electricity from stored wind energy.

Converting Heat Energy
Wind energy technology is typically used to convert kinetic energy from wind into mechanical energy or electricity. To harness wind power, a wind turbine may include a set of blades and a rotor shaft connected to the blades. Wind blowing over the blades may cause the blades to turn and the rotor shaft to rotate.

However, the variable nature of wind may interfere with on-demand generation of electricity from wind energy. For example, fluctuations in wind speed may hamper the adequate production of electricity from wind power during periods of peak demand, or conversely, may produce excess electrical power during periods of low demand.

The system Apple intends to develop will generate electricity by converting heat energy, rather than the rotational energy, created by the movement of a turbine’s blades

According to Apple, the ‘on-demand’ electric generation system could alleviate the problem of intermittency and cut the costs associated with variations in wind supply.

20MW solar far
Apple also owns and operates a 20MW solar farm in North Carolina for the same data center, which is the largest end-user-owned on-site solar array in the US.

And the company’s data centers in Austin, Texas; Elk Grove, California; Cork, Ireland; and Munich, Germany are all powered by 100% renewable energy.

Related articles:
Google Invests $75M into Wind Farm
Pacific Island Goes All Solar
70kW Solar PV System at Soneva Fushi

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