Home > Environment, World of the Strange – Weird Science > Cleveland State University wind turbines at Progressive Field are overachievers by 4.5 times..

Cleveland State University wind turbines at Progressive Field are overachievers by 4.5 times..

By Karen Farkas September 3rd 2012.

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View full sizeThomas Ondrey, The Plain DealerThe spiral wind turbine system perched above the southeast corner of Progressive Field is performing better than expected and also attracts attention from fans, especially when it is lit at night.

The wind turbines attached to that distinctive plastic corkscrew atop Progressive Field are overachievers.

The four mountedturbines are generating more than 4.5 times as much energy than if the turbines were standing alone, according to data collected by Cleveland State University.

“In terms of the fluid mechanics aspects of the device, it is doing exactly what we predicted,” said Majid Rashidi, the chairman of CSU’s department of engineering technology who developed the system. “Usually theory and practice don’t match.”

A 3,000-pound aluminum frame, covered with white plastic pieces to form a helix, was mounted atop the ballpark’s southeast corner, near East Ninth Street and Carnegie Avenue, on March 28. Four turbines, each seven feet across,with five blades in each disc, are attached to the sides of the spiral, which rises 40 feet above the upper concourse.

Rashidi’s theory was that the structure would deflect wind into the turbine, creating more energy. CSU received a $1.1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy in 2008 to design and install two structures based on Rashidi’s patented system. It involves a wind-deflecting structure with small-scale turbines able to generate power at low wind speeds.

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