According to reports, in a joint project of the Snow and Avalanche Study Establishment (SASE), a DRDO laboratory in Chandigarh, and the US army’s Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (CRREL), a prototype has been developed to harness wind energy, which can overcome ice and snow accumulation on wind turbine structures.
SASE has already installed a10kW capacity wind turbine as a pilot project in Banihal Top, J&K, in which the problems of snow riming and icing (accumulation of snow and ice on structures) were observed. Scientists at DRDO claim that there is no such wind turbine anywhere else at such an altitude.
Higher altitudes are off grid and have diesel as the source of power. However, the terrains are so unfriendly that its gets difficult and costly to transport diesel. “So, wind which is the easily available renewable source of energy is tapped by SASE, which installed wind turbines last year for power generation,” said Neeraj Sharma, a scientist working on the project.
He added, “However, we found that during the winters the blades stopped rotating due to riming and icing.” To overcome the problem, the team at SASE has come up with a technology, which does not generate electricity through rotation of the turbine. “As the rotation of the blades gets disrupted by riming and icing, we have developed a model on the principle of flutter,” explained Neeraj. The new prototype is potentially free from icing and riming problems. The first field tests for the wind belt will be conducted the coming winters.
This implies that the wind belt is stretched in a frame of a particular length, which has a magnet placed atop. As the wind blows, the belt flutters and touches the coil of copper wires placed above the magnet. This induces electromagnetic induction and generates power without rotation of the blades.