//Logo Image
作者:許博爾、許家瑋、洪永杰(2005-07-05);推薦:徐業良(2005-07-06)

低風速小型風力發電機專利檢索與分析報告

本文首先對風力發電機與低風速小型風力發電機之相關技術作一簡介,以對其整體技術發展現況有所瞭解。接著本文針對低風速小型風力發電機之機構設計(如葉片設計、轉子結構等)進行專利分析,藉以瞭解現有產品的專利狀況以及技術特點,並利用專利地圖(patent map)的製作,將專利資訊做最有效之組織分析,以了解整體產業環境之發展。同時針對現有技術其開發動向、運用手法與其達成效進行交叉分析,以期在舊有技術領域中看出可開發的新區域,藉以擬定技術研發與創新設計之切入點,建立有別於現有產品之市場與技術區隔。

1.     風力發電機簡介

1.1 風力發電原理及發電裝置

風的產生是由於太陽將地表的空氣加溫,空氣受熱膨脹變輕而往上升,熱空氣上升後,低溫的重空氣就從四周橫向流入,因而形成空氣的流動。風力發電機便是利用風力帶動風車葉片旋轉,再透過增速機將旋轉的速度提升,來推動發電機發電,依目前的風車技術,每秒大約3公尺的微風速度,便可以開始發電。

風力發電機主要利用風力機將風能轉換為機械能,接著利用發電機將機械能轉換為電能,再利用蓄電池將能量儲存。常見風力發電機的構造如圖1所示,各元件功能說明如下。

1. 風力發電機構造【http://www.tepco.co.jp/

(1)   發電機:將機械能轉換為電能

(2)   傳動軸:將葉片轉動的機械能傳遞至發電機

(3)   葉片:利用風力帶動旋轉,將風能轉換為機械能

(4)   葉片軸承:負荷葉片轉子的軸承,除連接葉片外,亦連接傳動軸

(5)   控制單元:調節轉向以及轉速比

(6)   風向、風速計:測量風向與風速

(7)   塔架:支撐風力機

風力發電機並不能將所有流經的風力能源轉換成電力,理論上最高轉換效率約為59%,實際上大多數的葉片轉換風能效率約介於30~50%之間,經過機電設備轉換成電力能後的總輸出效率則約介於20%~45%風力發電機的電力輸出與風的速度有關,葉片能自風獲得之能量與風速的三次方成正比,市場上一般風力發電機的起動風速約介於2.5~4m/s,於風速12~15m/s時達到額定的輸出容量,風速更高時風力發電機的控制機構將電力輸出穩定在額定容量左右。為避免過高的風速損壞發電機,大多於風速達20~25m/s範圍內停機,一般採用旋角節制(pitch regulation)失速節制(stall control)方式來調節葉片之氣動性能及葉輪之輸出。

除了風速外,風力發電機可擷取風能也約與葉輪直徑平方成正比,以目前商業化的中、大型風力發電機為例,容量600kW的機組葉輪直徑約45m1000kW的機組葉輪直徑約55m左右,2000kW的機組葉輪直徑則約75m左右。

葉片的數量亦影響風力發電機的輸出,一般而言多葉片的風車效率較低但機械力矩較高,適用於汲水等工作;少葉片型效率較高而力矩較低,其中又以2葉及3葉型效率最高。此外,現代風力發電機的葉片多採機翼翼型,以便更有效的擷取風能。

1.2 風力發電機之分類

風力發電機的分類相當多,依結構可分類如表1所示。

1. 風力發電機之分類【Walker, 1997

分類依據

描述

分類名稱

旋轉軸結構

主軸與地面相對方向

水平軸式(Horizontal-axis type)

垂直軸式(Vertical-axis type)

發電機種類

發電機類型

同步機(Synchronous generator)

感應機(Asynchronous generator)

轉子葉片位置

轉子相對於風向位置

上風式(Up wind)

下風式(Down wind)

轉子葉片受力情形

轉子葉片工作原理

升力型(Lift)

阻力型(Drag)

如表1所示,風力發電機依旋轉軸結構分類,可分為水平軸式及垂直軸式風力機二種。水平軸式風力機即為目前最常用之風力機類型,適合運用於風力較大,且風向固定,不易產生亂流的場合,並具有較高轉換效率係數之特性。如圖2左所示之三葉式(three blade)風力機即為水平軸式風力機。相對而言,垂直軸式風力機適用於風力較小的場合,由於此型轉子葉片為對稱結構,可使用在風向不固定的場合,其轉換效率較水平軸式風力發電機低,如圖2右所示之達里厄(Darrieus)風力機即為典型垂直軸式風力機。

2. 水平軸式風力機(左)與垂直軸式風力機)【http://www.tepco.co.jp/

利用風能轉換成電力的發電機類型,可分為感應機及同步機二種。感應機運用於風力發電時,其轉子葉片必須先連接至增速齒輪箱將旋轉的速度提升後再驅動發電機轉子進行發電。同步發電機運用於風力發電時,其轉子直接安裝於受風葉片轉軸中心,當葉片轉動時直接驅動發電機轉子,由於不須增速齒輪箱,可改善感應式風力機因快速轉動機件部分所造成噪音及機械磨損的缺點。當風速超過滿載風速時,可利用旋角控制(Pitch Control)系統改變葉片受風角度,降低葉片受風力量,以限制轉子速度及功率輸出,避免造成過載情形發生。

風力發電機依轉子葉片相對於風向的位置分類,可分為上風式、下風式兩種。葉片安裝在塔架的前面迎風旋轉,叫做上風式風力機(圖3左);葉片安裝在塔架的下風位置,則稱為下風式風力機(圖3右)。上風式風力機必須有調向裝置來保持葉片迎風,而下風式風力機則能夠自動對準風向,免除掉了調向裝置。但下風式風力機,由於一部分空氣先通過塔架後再吹向葉片,干擾了流向葉片的氣流使得整體效率降低且容易產生振動及噪音等問題。

3. 上風式風力機(左)與下風式風力機

風力發電機依轉子葉片的工作原理分類,可分為升力型、阻力型兩種,以下將由流體力學中常見的白努力定律(Bernoulli’s Principle)出發,解釋升力、阻力產生的原因,並進一步介紹升力型、阻力型風力機的工作原理。

當流體流經機翼(葉片)時,機翼四周的壓力差會因為流速之不同而有所變化,如圖4所示,依據白努力定律可知機翼的上端相對機翼的下端會產生一負壓力,此壓力差便產生一升,另外機翼表面粗糙程度及摩擦力會產生阻力。升力 與阻力 兩力向量大小空氣密度ρ及葉片面積A成正比,和風速V二次方成正比,可分別表示如下:

                                                                                           (1)

                                                                                         (2)

其中分別是升力與阻力係數。

4. 轉子葉片的工作原理

5為簡化之風力機結構圖,圖5為轉子葉片受風剖面圖。利用上述機翼受力之觀念,考慮風吹到風力機上,在轉子葉片上也會產生升力及阻力。因此,依據此觀念,可以將升力與阻力轉換為葉片之旋轉力FRotational及對轉子的軸推力FThrust如下所示:

                                                                        (3)

                                                                   (4)

其中

由上述可知,阻力型風力機,其轉子葉片轉動的工作原理係利用阻力()產生轉動,亦即遠大於的數值,此時葉片相對於風向所形成的角度較大,且有轉速慢、轉矩大的特性,傳統的風車即是依據此原理動作。而升力型風力機,轉子葉片轉動的工作原理利用升力()產生轉動,亦即遠大於的數值,此時葉片相對於風向所形成的角度較小,且有轉速快、轉矩小的特性,目前一般風力機即是依據此原理動作。

5. 簡化之風力機結構圖(左)、轉子葉片受風剖面圖(右)

1.3 低風速風力發電機

美國國家風力科技中心(National Wind Technology Center)定義,當量測高度為10公尺,年平均風速為5.6m/s以下稱為所謂的「低風速」風力發電機。目前多數低風速風力發電機係採用變速型風力機的設計,其採用電力電子元件介面經由升壓變壓器與系統併聯,可使風力發電機之轉子操作於變速狀態,而利用後端之電力轉換器轉換出定頻之功率注入系統。平常會隨著風速大小、風向而調整葉片傾斜角度,使其與風向垂直,而達到高效率發電的目的。當高風速時,利用可變旋翼構造調整整個葉片的角度,可以調節控制最大額定輸出保持平穩狀態。可變旋翼構造可以降低起動風速,藉由調整葉片的角度,可於低風速時獲得最大的起動扭矩,因此可在較低的風速下起動發電。

 除此之外, 配合發電機與傳動軸裝置方式,使機械元件阻抗降低,亦可使啟動風力下降與運轉中能量損耗減少,以增加發電效益。

2.     低風速風力發電機技術專利檢索策略

本文專利檢索的地區定為美國地區之專利資料。重視全球市場的企業,在規劃其專利佈局時,皆會投入技術較為先進、市場需求性高的美國地區,因此美國專利資料庫收納全球最重要、完整的專利資料,藉由此區專利資料的檢索與研究,可使本計畫之專利分析成果同時掌握廣度與深度、即時性、與發展性。

在低風速風力發電機的技術領域中,“slow wind speed”“low wind velocity”等詞彙為描繪低風速時最常使用的英文名稱,因此本研究將以這兩組關鍵字及其他相關變化詞,在專利名稱(Title)、摘要(Abstract)與專利申請範圍(Claim)中檢索,檢索日期至2005615止。由於各國專利權人所申請之專利多在美國有對應之專利,因此初步檢索範圍限制在USPTO中已公告的專利,之後再依據其國際專利技術分類碼(IPC)與美國專利技術分類碼(UPC)將個別核心元件(如葉片構形、轉子結構、能量轉換器、控制系統等)與各種類型的低風速風力發電機之結構作一有效分類。

6為國際專利技術分類碼(IPC)中關於液力機械或液力發動機的分類,所謂的國際專利技術分類碼(IPC)係指世界智慧財產組織(World Intellectual Property Organization, WIPO)依據每篇專利的技術特徵,賦予一個或多個的專利分類,以利分析者進行專利檢索之用。由此架構可知風力發電機主要的分類碼為F03D,其下包含四階IPC之相關細部分項,具水平式風力發動機(F03D01)垂直式風力發動機(F03D03)其他類型風力發動機(F03D05)風力發動機之控制(F03D07)、特殊用途之風力發電機(F03D09)零部件(F03D11)等。在此次專例檢索中,即利用F03D來取代所有關於風力機的相關詞彙以避免有所疏漏導致專利檢索結果不完整。

此外,國際專利技術分類碼(IPC)中的H02P,定義了關於電動機、發電機或機電變換器之控制與調節技術,此項分類較著重於發電機的電力控制技術(不包含風力機),為提高專利檢全率,特別將其納入此次的檢索策略中,並配合第二階段人工細部專利評選以求達成較高的檢準率,表2為此次專利檢索策略。

6. 風力發電機IPC分類架構

2. 小型風力發電機美國專利檢索背景設定

搜尋公司

不限

搜尋地區

美國

搜尋年份

不限

搜尋欄位

專利名稱(Title)、專利摘要(Abstract)、專利範圍(Claims)、習知技術與發明概要(SPEC)、國際專利分類號(F03DH02P)

搜尋語言

英文

資料庫名稱

USPTO專利資料庫(主),Delphion專利資料庫(輔)

關鍵字

"low wind speed" , "light wind speed" , "slight wind speed", "low wind velocity", "light wind velocity" , "slight wind velocity" , "light breeze" , "slight breeze" , "low velocity" , "low speed" , "low wind" , "slow velocity", "slow wind" , "slow wind"

檢索語法

ICL/(F03D$ OR H02P$) AND (ABST/("low velocity" OR "low speed " OR "low wind" OR "slow velocity" OR "slow speed" OR "slow wind") OR ACLM/("low velocity" OR " low speed " OR "low wind" OR "slow velocity" OR "slow speed" OR "slow wind") OR TTL/("low velocity" OR " low speed " OR "low wind" OR "slow velocity" OR "slow speed" OR "slow wind") OR SPEC/("low velocity" OR "low speed " OR "low wind" OR "slow velocity" OR "slow speed" OR "slow wind"))

利用USPTODelphion專利資料庫交互檢索,得到低風速風力發電機技術之美國公告專利共計111件,後續分析皆以已確認之美國公告專利為專利分析範圍。以下即針對此111件低風速風力發電機技術之美國公告專利製作專利管理圖表。

所謂專利管理圖表即是初步專利書目資料的圖表陳列,其目的是能夠將所檢索出的專利作一簡單呈現,並提供爾後技術分析的初步參考。雖然管理圖表無法提供深一層的技術特徵,但是對於技術掌握與分佈可提供某種程度的了解。一般而言,管理圖表分析包括專利件數分析、生命週期曲線分析、競爭國家分析、競爭公司分析、發明人分析、國際專利分類(IPC)分析、與美國專利分類(UPC)分析等,將於以下各節分別討論。

3.     低風速風力發電機專利件數分析

7為低風速風力發電機歷年專利件數分佈,其中橫軸為申請日與公告日之時間軸,縱軸為專利件數。圖中藍色線代表以專利申請日分析,藉由申請日作分析,可以瞭解技術的萌芽時間;暗紅色線代表以專利公開日作分析,藉由公開日作分析可以得知最新的發展現況。

7. 低風速風力發電機歷年專利件數

低風速風力發電機最早一篇專利申請於1975年,初步分析其書目資料,可發現該專利名稱為「風力能源轉換器(Wind energy conversion device)」,專利權人為美國的Graybill; Clinton L.。檢視此篇專利可以發現,其技術內容為一種利用柔軟可變形的材質製成葉片之八角型構造垂直軸式風力發電機,該專利中之葉片具翼形剖面,空氣繞葉片流動產生的合力形成轉矩。為避免離心力使葉片在連結點處產生嚴重的彎曲應力,因此採用拉索加以支撐。藉由申請日與公告日的比對,可以看出,低風速風力發電機專利與一般專利相似,其申請時間與核准公告時間約有2~3年的差距。

低風速風力發電機專利申請件數自1975~1989年間皆有一定數量的專利申請,其中1981年申請件數達11件。1990~1998年間專利申請數量明顯減少,僅1992年與1994年分別有4篇與5篇進行申請,其餘年份皆維持1~2件。1999年開始專利申請量逐漸復甦,2002年與2003年分別有7篇與6篇進行申請,惟2002年以後申請案件許多尚未核准公告,因此無法被檢索出來。

低風速風力發電機專利公告件數的趨勢與申請趨勢相當(約晚2~3年),自1976年開始穩定成長,1984年公告件數達12件,惟1989年開始專利公告數量明顯減少,僅1994年與1996年分別有4篇與5篇公告,其餘年份皆維持1~2件。2002年開始專利公告數量逐漸提升,2004年的專利公告數達到10件,而2005截至目前也有3篇專利被公告。

8與表3說明專利技術生命週期圖之意義,比對專利件數與專利權人數,可以推論此專利技術是處於萌芽期、成長期、成熟期、或技術瓶頸期。圖9為低風速風力發電機專利技術生命週期圖(以三年為計算單位),比對圖9與圖8,低風速風力發電機專利技術於1976~1999間經歷了一次完整的技術生命週期。2000年開始,專利數量與專利權人數再一次逐步提升,進入第二次的技術生命週期循環,惟後續趨勢是否會繼續成長仍有待觀察。

8. 技術生命週期圖示

3. 技術生命週期圖簡介

階段

階段名稱

代表意義

第一階段

技術萌芽

廠商投入意願低,專利申請件數與專利權人數皆少

第二階段

技術成長

產業技術有突破或廠商對於市場價值有了認知,競相投入發展,專利申請量與專利權人數急遽上升

第三階段

技術成熟

廠商投資於研發的資源不再擴張,只剩少數繼續發展此類技術,且其他廠商進入此市場意願低,專利申請量與專利權人數成長逐漸減緩

第四、五階段

技術瓶頸

產業技術研發遇瓶頸難以突破或此類產業已過於成熟,專利申請量與專利權人數呈現負成長

9. 低風速風力發電機專利技術生命週期圖

4.     低風速風力發電機專利國家別分析

4為低風速風力發電機專利所屬國件數分析表。由表4可看出,投入低風速風力發電機技術發展並在美國獲得專利之國家共有11國,總專利件數111件,專利權人共98位,其中美國所獲得專利件數佔總專利件數之83%(因為檢索區域為美國專利,故數量會其他國家來的多),是主要研發低風速風力發電機技術之重要國家之ㄧ。

另外由分析資料顯示,目前台灣有兩件在美國獲得低風速風力發電機之相關專利。第一篇「Windmill(風力機)」,專利號碼為US4,449,889,專利權人是Belden; Ralph A.,此專利是將葉片傾斜設置於風力機上,使葉片與風向保持一夾角,且在轉子處連接一垂直軸式尾翼,使葉片能自動對準風向,而連接葉片的軸承可依風速的不同而調整其葉片攻角,達到最佳發電效率;另一篇「Windmill (風力機)」(專利號碼為US6,132,172,專利權人是Li Wan-Tsai)主要是將轉子設計成圓錐形來降低阻抗以改善轉換效率,同時於2.5m/s的風速下即可啟動發電。整體構形看來像是鑽頭,且圓錐形轉子較一般轉子為重,可維持長期平穩的轉動。

4. 專利所屬國件數分析表

所屬國

專利所屬國

專利件數

專利權人數

件數百分比

US

美國

92

79

82.9%

CA

加拿大

6

6

5.4%

TW

台灣

2

2

1.8%

JP

日本

2

2

1.8%

GB

英國

2

2

1.8%

DE

德國

2

2

1.8%

SE

瑞典

1

1

0.9%

SU

蘇聯

1

1

0.9%

FR

法國

1

1

0.9%

IT

義大利

1

1

0.9%

ES

西班牙

1

1

0.9%

合計

111

98

100.0%

5.     低風速風力發電機專利權人(公司)分析

專利權人分析係針對特定之競爭對手進行相關競爭指標分析,藉以深入了解競爭對手之動向與研發能力。

5.1 公司研發能力比較

設定研發能力加權參數,計算技術競爭公司之「相對研發能力值」,可觀察各競爭公司研發能力之強弱。表5為低風速風力發電機技術競爭公司相對研發能力值比較表,表中相對研發能力值是沿用專利分析軟體“Patent Guider”預設之加權參數(專利件數加權參數為1.2、被引證分析加權參數為1.4、自我引證分析加權參數為0.9)來做計算。低風速風力發電機技術相對研發能力值最高第一名為「Grumman Aerospace Corporation普格魯曼」公司,其相對研發能力值為100%,其次為「U.S. Windpower, Inc.」公司,其相對研發能力值為50%,兩者間之差距2倍,可見Grumman Aerospace Corporation公司在低風速風力發電機專利領域佈局之領先地位。

5.重要競爭公司相對研發能力比較表

公司名稱

相對研發能力值百分比

Grumman Aerospace Corporation

100

U.S. Windpower, Inc.

50

The Boeing Company

48

United Technologies Corporation

46

Board of Regents University of Nevada System

37

NASA

31

Jeumont Industrie

24

Headwinds Corporation

24

Advanced Wind Turbines, Inc.

24

Aluminum Company of America

24

Wind Baron Corporation

24

National Research Development Corporation

24

Northern Power Systems, Inc.

24

The Wind Turbine Company

24

General Electric Company

22

5.2 重要競爭公司研發能力詳細數據分析

6為利用專利件數、活動年期、發明人數、以及平均專利年齡等競爭指標,分析重要公司投入低風速風力發電機之技術發展狀況,藉以顯示競爭公司之投入資源及有效掌握競爭環境之重要資訊。以下先就各指標名詞簡單介紹:

(1)   活動年期

觀察各競爭公司在本專案技術內有專利產出之活動期,進而可得知各公司投入本技術領域之研發時間。

(2)   發明人

競爭公司投入本研究技術研發之發明人數分析,透過競爭公司在本專案技術研發人員投入之多寡,以評析該公司對本技術之企圖心與競爭潛力。

(3)   平均專利年齡

將各專利權年齡總和除以專利件數所得之值。平均專利年齡越短,表示該公司於本專案技術內享有較長期之技術獨占性優勢,反之亦然。為各國專利制度不盡相同,專利權期間也不相同。以美國專利權年限20年為例,若分析專案之平均專利年齡越短(例如3年),表示此專案之技術受專利權保護之時間將越長(還剩17年),享有較長期之技術獨占性優勢。

(4)   自我引證次數

本分析專案內公司引證自己公司之專利次數。

(5)   被其他人引證次數

本分析專案內公司之專利被其他公司引證之次數。

(6)   總引證次數

本分析專案內公司所擁有之專利自我引證次數加被其他人引證次數。

(7)   引證率

本分析專案內公司專利的總引證次數除以該公司專利件數的比值。引證率代表公司之每件專利產出被引用的次數,可用來衡量各競爭公司之專利產出品質。引證率越高的公司,表示該公司產出之專利平均被引用次數越多,顯示專利品質越高。一般評量先進公司之技術研發能力除可依專利件數多寡衡量外,引證率也是技術能力重要參考指標。利用引證率衡量公司之技術研發能力是屬於「質(quality)」的衡量指標,而專利產出件數則是「量(quantity)」的衡量指標。

(8)   技術獨立性

分析專案內公司引用自己公司專利的次數除以總引證次數之比值。技術獨立性表示公司技術研發內容與其他競爭公司的技術差異性。技術獨立性數值越高,表示該公司研發之技術獨特性較高(其研發路線較為獨立),同業間較少有公司追隨其技術研發,接近所謂的獨家技術;技術獨立性數值越低,表示該公司技術研發路線與其他競爭公司研發之技術內容相似程度較高,也較有技術侵權的可能性發生。

6. 重要競爭公司相對研發能力詳細數據

公司名稱

專利件數

活動年期

發明人數

平均專利年齡

自我引證次數

被其他人引證次數

總引證次數

引證率

技術獨立性

Grumman Aerospace Corporation

2

2

4

26

0

6

6

3

0

U.S. Windpower, Inc.

1

1

1

13

0

3

3

3

0

The Boeing Company

2

2

2

23

0

2

2

1

0

United Technologies Corporation

3

2

7

22

0

1

1

0.333

0

Board of Regents University of Nevada System

1

1

1

29

0

2

2

2

0

NASA

2

2

1

23

1

0

1

0.5

1

Jeumont Industrie

1

1

3

6

0

1

1

1

0

Headwinds Corporation

1

1

1

4

0

1

1

1

0

Advanced Wind Turbines, Inc.

1

1

1

12

0

1

1

1

0

Aluminum Company of America

1

1

1

24

0

1

1

1

0

Wind Baron Corporation

1

1

2

24

0

1

1

1

0

National Research Development Corporation

1

1

1

29

0

1

1

1

0

Northern Power Systems, Inc.

1

1

2

13

0

1

1

1

0

The Wind Turbine Company

1

1

1

11

0

1

1

1

0

General Electric Company

2

2

2

2

0

0

0

0

0

註:引證率及技術獨立性之平均值分別為0.710.03

觀察投入低風速風力發電機技術之重要公司專利詳細資料表(表6),可得知在本專利技術相關領域中,以United Technologies Corporation聯合科技)公司專利之產出最多(3件),佔專利總數之18.7%,為投入低風速風力發電機專利技術研發最活躍的公司。該公司的主要研發項目為應用於大廈系統和航空工業的高科技產品,包含燃料電池、冷凍空調設備、飛機與太空梭發動機,並利用其在航空工業的研發優勢跨足小型風力發電機。

United Technologies Corporation」之專利產出共計3件,專利產出數量位居第一,專利活動年期有2年,投入之發明人數達7位,為目前投入最多研發人員之公司。平均專利年齡22年,屬於相當早期的專利同時已過專利保護期限。在技術研發能力方面,United Technologies Corporation3件專利被引證總次數僅有1次(其中自我引證次數0次,被其他人引證次數1次),引證率為0.333,遠低於本研究平均引證率0.71甚多;技術獨立性則為0,亦低於本研究平均技術獨立性0.03,表示該公司技術研發內容與其他競爭公司的技術差異性並不大。

Grumman Aerospace Corporation」之專利產出共計2件,專利產出數量位居第二,專利活動年期有2年,投入之發明人數4位。與「United Technologies Corporation」相似,該公司的平均專利年齡26年,屬於相當早期的專利同時已過專利保護期限。該公司的2件專利被引證總次數達2次(其中自我引證次數0次,被其他人引證次數2次),引證率為1,高於本研究平均引證率0.71,顯示該群專利品質不錯;技術獨立性則為0,則低於本研究平均技術獨立性0.03,表示其研發之技術與市場主流技術差異性小。

波音公司之專利產出有2件,專利產出數量位居第二,專利活動年期有2年,投入之發明人數2位。與上述兩間公司相似,該公司的平均專利年齡23年,屬於相當早期的專利同時已過專利保護期限。該公司的2件專利被引證總次數高達6次(其中自我引證次數0次,被其他人引證次數6次),引證率為3,高於本研究平均引證率0.71甚多,顯示該群專利極有可能為所謂的核心技術專利;技術獨立性則為0,則低於本研究平均技術獨立性0.03,表示其研發之技術較不具獨立性,與市場技術差異性小。

值得注意的是,「General Electric Company」在2005年同時公告了兩件專利,是上述重要競爭公司中少數仍持續進行低風速風力發電機技術研發的公司,其後續發展與目前產出之專利技術相當值得注意與進一步探討。本文特別於附錄中解析該公司兩篇專利之技術特徵。

5.3 重要競爭公司歷年專利件數分析

10為上述低風速風力發電機重要競爭公司歷年專利件數分析,可顯示主要競爭公司歷年在此一研發領域之投入概況。由圖9可看出,低風速風力發電機專利產出件數最高的「United Technologies Corporation」,自1982年即有第一件專利產出,並於1987年達到2件之後專利產出停滯。

相對研發能力第一名的「Grumman Aerospace Corporation」於1976年即有專利產出,是低風速風力發電機技術領域的先驅之ㄧ,惟1985年產出第二篇專利後就無任何專利出現。

值得注意的是,「Jeumont Industrie」、「Headwinds Corporation」與「General Electric Company」三間公司雖然於低風速風力發電機專利技術領域投入發展較慢,分別在200220032005年才有第一筆相關專利出現,卻是重要競爭公司中近幾年少數仍持續進行低風速風力發電機技術研發的公司,尤其是「General Electric Company」在2005年產出兩件專利,反觀其餘發展公司在1996年後即沒有相關專利出現。

10. 重要競爭公司歷年專利件數圖

6.     低風速風力發電機專利重要發明人分析

本節針對低風速風力發電機專利技術領域內具專利產出之重要發明人進行相關分析,包括重要發明人之專利產出數量、任職公司資訊、與歷年研發專利產出之情形等。

在本研究之低風速風力發電機專利技術領域中,共有87位發明人。表7之重要發明人分析列出本專案技術領域之重要發明人、任職公司及個人專利產出件數。其中專利件數產出最多的Appa; Kari3件)其專利皆以個人名義作申請。另外Harner; Kermit I.Doman; Glidden S.同屬United Technologies Corporation,但兩人專利重疊性不高(僅一件專利共同申請)。各重要發明人歷年專利產出情形如圖9所示。

7.重要發明人分析

發明人

所屬公司

專利產出件數

Appa; Kari

Appa; Kari

3

Sutz; Richard K.

Softwind Limited PartnershipWind Baron Corporation

2

Randolph; Arthur J.

Randolph; Arthur J.

2

Parkins; William E.

Parkins; William E.

2

Nola; Frank J.

NASA

2

Hohenemser; Kurt H.

Gross; Jerome A.Hohenemser; Kurt H.

2

Harner; Kermit I.

United Technologies Corporation

2

Graybill; Clinton L.

Graybill; Clinton L.

2

Elder; Dillyn M.

Elder; Dillyn M.Headwinds Corporation

2

Doman; Glidden S.

United Technologies Corporation

2

Boatner; Bruce E.

Boatner; Bruce E.

2

Belden; Ralph A.

Belden; Ralph A.Telect, Inc.

2

Ammons; Joe L.

Ammons; Joe L.

2

Appa; Kari.為此項技術領域內擁有最多專利成果者,其專利歷年產出件數共3件,專利取得年份分佈(圖11)於2000~2002年間,平均11件專利。另外,值得注意的兩位專利人,一位是Elder; Dillyn M.,專利數為2件,且專利取得年份為20022003年,是近期才竄起的專利發明人,其申請之專利分別以個人名義與Headwinds Corporation作為專利權人。另一位則為Boatner; Bruce E.,專利產出件數為2件,且是以個人名義申請,專利取得的年份為2004年,是低風速風力發電機此項領域後期的主要發明人之一。其他發明人已公告的專利,距離現今都將近有10年以上的時間,後續產出之專利情形與動態有待觀察。

11. 重要發明人歷年專利件數分佈

7.     低風速風力發電機專利之IPC分析

7.1 IPC之意義

國際專利分類(International Patent Class, IPC),是世界智慧財產組織(World Intellectual Property Organization, WIPO)制訂的一種分類系統,可提供各國專利文獻統一分類之依據,其中包括了部(section)、主類(class)、次類(subclass)、主目(main group)、及次目(subgroup)五個階層,專利審查委員在閱讀專利說明書後,會依據該專利的技術特徵,賦予一個或多個的專利分類,以利分析者進行專利檢索。

IPC並非一成不變,而是會隨著技術演變進行調整,目前IPC最新版本是200011公佈的第七版,共有8個部、120個主類、628個次類、與大約69,000個目,編排架構說明如下:

(1)   (section)

「部」為IPC之主要分類大項,其所呈現的是發明專利領域之知識體系,部的名稱可視為是對該部內容之廣泛指示,且每個名稱後面都有一個主要細部展開項目之摘要類目。目前IPC將整個專利發明的知識分為8部,以大寫字母AH分別表示之,如表8

8. 8部的類目

類目名稱

A

生活必需品

B

處理操作;運輸

C

化學;冶金

D

纖維;紙

E

固定構造物

F

機械工程;照明;加熱;武器;爆破

G

物理學

H

電學

(2)   主類(class)

「主類」係由各部之下再細分為類,主要是針對該領域之發明技術作出更明確的定義與意涵。類的記號是在部的記號後加上兩位數字作為代表(如“F03”),而每一類名稱標示該類所包含的內容。

(3)   次類(subclass)

每類之下均包含一個或多個次類,其所指示的範圍比類更為特定與詳細,亦即次類比類更接近其所指涉之發明技術內涵。次類之記號為類的記號後面再加上一個大寫字母(如“F03D”),其名稱則為能夠正確指示該次類內容的名詞。

(4)   (group)

次類之下則再細分為多個目,較次類更能顯示特定範圍的專利技術。目又分為主目與次目;其中主目是為定義在檢索目的上有用的技術主題範圍,因此其記號顯示格式為次類字母計號之後加上13位數字、斜線及數字00組成(如“F03D7/00”)。

(5)   次目(subgroup)

次目是主目下的細分類,其記號是在目的記號後面(斜線後面)加上至少兩位不等於00的數字(如“F03D7/04”)。由於IPC採用十進位分類,因此任何斜線後的第3位或後續數字應被視為是前行數字的十進位細分數字,如7/00介於7/047/06之間。次目之名稱,則是限定在主目的範圍之內,利於定義檢索的技術主題範圍,而名稱之前有顯示該層次位置的一個或數個圓點,在所有情形下,次目名稱必須以從屬並受限於其上主目之名稱的方式來解讀。

9為低風速風力發電機專利之IPC範例。每一個IPC均對應一個代表該分類的技術內容,IPC分析可對專利技術類別進行分析,包括IPC專利分類分析、IPC專利技術歷年件數分析、競爭國家分析與競爭公司分析等。利用IPC分析可以幫助分析者找出技術的主要領域和未開發領域,以作為研發方向的參考。

9. 低風速風力發電機專利IPC範例

F03D7/04

說明

部之記號、名稱

F:機械工程;照明;供熱;武器;爆破

類之記號、名稱

03:液力機械或液力發動機;風力、彈力、重力或其他諸種發動機;未列入其他類之產生機械動力或反推力之發動機

次類之記號、名稱

D:風力發電機

目之記號、名稱

7/00風力發電機之控制

一點次目之記號、名稱

水平軸式風力發

二點次目之記號、名稱

‧‧調節,即自動控制

F03D7/04應解讀成「水平軸式風力發機之自動控制系統」

7.2 低風速風力發電機專利之IPC專利分類分析

10列出低風速風力發電機專利四階IPC分析前四名的技術分類及內容。每件專利大多並非只有一個IPC四階分類號,因此表10中之專利件次是代表共有多少專利件次屬於該分類,例如US5,664,418號專利IPC分類為F03B13/18F03B13/24F03B13/26F03D3/04,因此共有3專利件次屬於F03B12分類。由表10中可得知F03D7F03D3F03D9H02P9此四項分類為低風速風力發電機專利的重點領域,其中又以F03D7風力發電機之控制」專利件數明顯較多。

10. 低風速風力發電機專利四階IPC分析前四名的技術分類及內容

IPC分類

技術分類意義

專利件次

F03D7

風力發電機之控制

42

F03D3

垂直軸式風力發電機

26

F03D9

特殊用途之風力發電機;風力發電機與受其驅動的裝置之組

24

H02P9

用於取得所需輸出值之發電機的控制裝置

16

由於四階IPC之分類技術主題範圍較為粗略,因此將IPC向下延伸一階來作分類探討。表11列出低風速風力發電機專利五階IPC分析前三名的技術分類及內容,可以得知F03D9/00F03D7/04F03D7/06此三項分類為低風速風力發電機專利的重點領域,其中又以F03D9/00特殊用途之風力發電機;風力發電機與受其驅動的裝置之組」專利件數較多一些。

11. 低風速風力發電機專利五階IPC分析前四名的技術分類及內容

IPC分類

技術分類意義

專利件數

F03D9/00

特殊用途之風力發電機;風力發電機與受其驅動的裝置之組

19

F03D7/04

水平軸式風力發機之自動控制系統

16

F03D7/06

垂直軸式風力發電機之控制方法

12

7.3 低風速風力發電機專利重要IPC歷年專利件次分析

藉由IPC歷年專利件次分析,可以瞭解重要專利技術發展之時間趨勢。圖12為低風速風力發電機專利重要IPC歷年專利件次分析。由圖中可以看出,F03D7/06相關專利出現最早,第一篇專利出現於1977年,此後專利亦陸續出現。F03D7/04F03D9/00相關專利出現則約晚1年,F03D9/00此項技術的研發於1978年第一篇專利產出後一直延續到2005年皆有相關的專利陸續產生;而F03D7/04此項技術的發展則較集中於1978~1996年間,之後該技術領域的研發能量有下降的趨勢。這個整體趨勢可以看出低風速風力發電機專利技術重點呈現三路並進的趨勢,即除了就傳統水平軸式風力發機的自動控制系統與垂直軸式風力發電機之控制方法進行改善以適用於低風速發電外,嘗試改良風力發電機的構形與設計或是驅動裝置以符合低風速下最佳發電的功效一直是多數國家、專利權人與發明人共同努力的目標。

12.重要五階IPC專利技術歷年件次分析圖

7.4 低風速風力發電機專利競爭國家與公司重要IPC專利件次分析

藉由競爭競爭國家與公司重要IPC專利件次分析,可瞭解各國(各公司)之技術差異性與研發重點方向。圖13為競爭國家重要IPC專利件次分析,由圖可看出美國在重要五階IPC皆大幅領先其他國家,研發重點較著重於F03D9/00特殊用途之風力發電機;風力發電機與受其驅動的裝置之組)、F03D7/04(水平軸式風力發機之自動控制系統)此兩項技術分類上;加拿大則平均分散於三項技術領域上;而台灣的研發重點則與此三項技術較無交集。

13. 競爭國家重要IPC專利件次分析

14為競爭公司重要IPC專利件次分析,圖中顯示相對研發能力較為優異的公司在重要五階IPC的分布情形。波音公司、「Aluminum Company of America」、「Northern Power Systems」、「The Wind Turbine Company」等四間公司所擁有的全數專利皆集中在F03D7/04(水平軸式風力發機之自動控制系統)此項分類;「National Research Development Corporation」的專利技術則座落於(垂直軸式風力發電機之控制方法);而近期在低風速風力發電機技術領域崛起的「Jeumont Industrie」則在F03D9/00特殊用途之風力發電機;風力發電機與受其驅動的裝置之組)技術領域有所發展。

14. 主要競爭公司重要IPC專利件次分析

8.     低風速風力發電機專利之UPC分析

8.1 UPC之意義

雖然目前多數國家之發明專利均依據國際專利分類表予以分類,但美國仍舊採行其獨有之「美國專利分類表(United States Patent Classification, UPC)」。主要原因是UPC較為詳細,且修訂頻率較高。相較於IPC69,000多個主目與次目,UPC約有150,000的次類;IPC每五年修訂一次,而UPC則是每兩年修訂一次,更能符合科技進步與時代變遷之需求。

UPC編排體制是以「類」與「次類」兩個層次予以編排,彼此上下相互隸屬,編排架構說明如下:

(1)   (class)

UPC的第一層次為「類」,在每類之前均有說明其主題的「標題」,並以一組13位數的號碼表示該類。在類的範圍中,除部份尚未完全修訂外,每一類均有其定義說明(但新式樣專利的類別則無說明)。此定義可以說明每一類的主題範圍,比簡短的標題更容易清楚表達該類所涵蓋的技術主題範圍,例如類號290的定義說明為「首要移動發電機器設備」、416的定義說明為「流體表面反應」。

(2)   次類(subclass)

UPC的第一層次為「類」,在每類之前均有說明其主題的「標題」,並以一組13位數的號碼表示該類。在類的範圍中,除部份尚未完全修訂外,每一類均有其定義說明(但新式樣專利的類別則無說明)。此定義可以說明每一類的主題範圍,比簡短的標題更容易清楚表達該類所涵蓋的技術主題範圍,例如類號290的定義說明為「首要移動發電機器設備」、416的定義說明為「流體表面反應」。

12為低風速風力發電機專利之UPC範例。與IPC分析相同,每一個UPC均對應一個代表該分類的技術內容,UPC分析可對專利技術類別進行分析,包括UPC專利分類分析、UPC專利技術歷年件數分析、競爭國家分析與競爭公司分析等。

12. UPC編排架構內容示範

290/55

說明

類之記號、名稱

290發電原理以位移為主之發電機設備

次類之記號、名稱

55:風力

290/55」應解讀成「以風力造成位移之風力發電機設備」

8.2 低風速風力發電機專利之UPC專利分類分析

13列出一階UPC分析前三名的技術分類及內容,可得知416290415此三項分類為低風速風力發電機專利的重點領域。與IPC相同,每件專利大多並非只有一個UPC一階分類號,因此表13中之專利件次是代表共有多少專利件次屬於該分類,例如US 4,087,202號專利其UPC分類為416/41416/44,因此共有2專利件次屬於416分類。

13. 低風速風力發電機專利主要UPC一階分類及內容

UPC分類

技術分類意義

專利件數

416

以流體推動表面產生

259

290

發電原理以位移為主之發電機設備

93

415

流體轉動之發動機或幫浦

65

由於一階UPC之分類技術主題範圍較為粗略,因此將UPC向下延伸一階來作分類探討。表14列出二階UPC分析前五名的技術分類及內容,可以得知使用風力產生電流之馬達風力產生電流馬達之控制方法風力發電機、水平軸式風力發機與風力發機之結構此五項分類為低風速風力發電機專利的重點領域。圖15為此五項分類歷年專利件次分析,五項分類專利件數幾乎是同步發展。

14. 低風速風力發電機專利主要UPC二階分類及內容

UPC分類

技術分類意義

專利件數

290/55

使用風力產生電流之馬達

42

290/44

風力產生電流馬達之控制方法

35

416/41

風力發電機

17

416/119

水平軸式風力發

16

416/132B

風力發機之結構

14

15. 重要二階UPC專利技術歷年件次分析圖

8.3 低風速風力發電機專利競爭國家與公司重要UPC專利件次分析

藉由競爭競爭國家與公司重要UPC專利件次分析,可瞭解各國(各公司)之技術差異性與研發重點方向。圖16為競爭國家重要UPC專利件次分析,由圖可看出美國在重要二階IPC皆大幅領先其他國家,研發重點較著重於290/55使用風力產生電流之馬達)與290/44風力產生電流馬達之控制方法)此兩項技術分類上;加拿大與美國相似,較集中於290/55290/44的技術領域上;而台灣則於416/119(水平軸式風力發機)此一分項技術有1件專利產出。

16. 競爭國家重要二階UPC專利件次分析

17為競爭公司重要UPC專利件次分析,圖中顯示相對研發能力較為優異的公司在主要二階UPC分類的專利分布情形。United Technologies Corporation於此五項分類之研發結果較集中於290/55使用風力產生電流之馬達)、290/44風力產生電流馬達之控制方法)與416/41(風力發電機)此三項技術上;波音公司於416/132風力發機之結構)此項技術領域上有一篇專利產出。其餘公司之專利技術發展較集中於290/55使用風力產生電流之馬達)與290/44風力產生電流馬達之控制方法)此兩類。

17. 競爭公司重要UPC專利件次分析

9.     低風速風力發電機之重要引證專利分析

15為低風速風力發電機專利交互引證前十名之列表,所謂「交互引證數」的定義即為111件專利中引證此篇專利的專利數。例如,US4,075,500的交互引證數為5,即是111件專利中有5件專利引證此件專利。需要強調的是交互引證數的比較並不一定公平,因為越早公告之專利,被引證的機率就越高,但是在客觀上仍可初步瞭解哪些專利是相對重要的。從這11件專利所引伸出之引用關係,可以看出這些專利其關連性可分為十個技術類群:A類的母專利描述將葉片傾斜設置於風力機上,使葉片與風向保持一夾角,且在轉子處連接一垂直軸式尾翼,使葉片能自動對準風向,而連接葉片的軸承可依風速的不同而調整其葉片攻角,達到最佳發電效率;B類的母專利描述經由控制與感應系統來偵測風向隨時改變葉片攻角,可長時間維持有效力矩;C類的母專利是利用葉片攻角來導致風力機轉動,且葉片轉動時,還會依據風速大小產生一個電子訊號以方便電腦進行控制;D類的母專利是藉由控制轉子來達到風力機的葉片可以從第1種角度變換到第15種角度,以適用於各種風速皆可以啟動;E類的母專利是將葉片連接到一個搖臂(rock arm),藉以產生平衡力,導致渦輪機可以自行啟動及控制,以達到風力機的最佳效率;F類的母專利描述則是利用間距凸輪來移動可變化之金屬airfoil以維持有效力矩,藉以提升風力機的轉換效率;G類的母專利描述一種風力機結構的改良,使整體製作成本有效降低,其技術特徵為一種可隨風速大小改變葉片的有效面積及其方向的機械結構,當風速過快時,該葉片可即時調節其氣動性能及葉輪之輸出避免風力機損壞;H類的母專利描述以一個圓桶狀的集風器促使空氣被壓縮,而在此集風器內利用壓縮空氣帶動半月形的葉片旋轉,使轉子能更快、更有效率的帶動發電機進行發電;I類的母專利描述一種可將風轉換效率提高至69%的風力機設計,其特徵為將windward rotorleeward rotor結合在同一部風力機上;J類的母專利描述利用控制系統來控制轉子與風速相匹配以調整轉子與風向之夾角,並利用控制系統計算出風速對轉子的扭矩以利控制機構調整出合適的發電機扭矩,藉以達到風力機的最佳效率。

18中以非淺綠底標示出來為上述11件重要引證母專利(淺綠底皆為子專利),這些專利分別帶領上述10個技術類群。針對此11篇重要母專利分析並整理包含專利標題、應用、目標、方法、特徵等重要資訊於附錄中,供研究人員參考。

15. 低風速風力發電機專利交互引證前十名

專利號

交互引證數

自我引證

被他人引證

專利權人

申請日

公告日

US4075500

5

0

5

Grumman Aerospace Corporation

1975/8/13

1978/2/21

US4474529

4

0

4

Kinsey;Lewis R.

1983/3/21

1984/10/2

US4159191

3

0

3

Graybill;Clinton L.

1977/8/1

1979/6/26

US4168439

3

0

3

Palma; F. Neto

1977/11/28

1979/9/18

US4334823

3

0

3

Sharp; Peter A.

1980/12/16

1982/6/15

US4383801

3

0

3

Pryor; Dale H.

1981/3/2

1983/5/17

US3995170

3

0

3

Graybill;Clinton L.

1975/2/26

1976/11/30

US4449889

3

0

3

Belden;Ralph A.

1983/1/20

1984/5/22

US5289041

3

0

3

U.S.Windpower,

1992/8/17

1994/2/22

US5664418

3

0

3

Walters; Victor

1996/4/1

1997/9/9

US6127739

3

0

3

Appa; Kari

1999/3/22

2000/10/3

18. 低風速風力發電機之重要專利引證族譜圖

10.    結論與未來工作

本文完成了低風速風力發電機技術之美國公告專利檢索與分析,並繪製完成基本管理圖表。低風速風力發電機專利件數前兩名國家為美國與加拿大,合計佔總件數之88.3%(美國佔全體專利件數之82.9%)。重要競爭公司為美國的United Technologies Corporation、波音公司Grumman Aerospace CorporationGeneral Electric Company。以應用領域而言,經由五階IPC專利分類分析可發現低風速風力發電機專利技術重點呈現三路並進的趨勢,即除了就傳統水平軸式風力發機的自動控制系統與垂直軸式風力發電機之控制方法進行改善以適用於低風速發電外,嘗試改良風力發電機的構形與設計或是驅動裝置以符合低風速下最佳發電的功效一直是多數國家、專利權人與發明人共同努力的目標。

此外由低風速風力發電機技術之重要引證專利分析,分別找出了轉子技術與葉片攻角設計之源頭與基礎專利。同時本文針對源頭與基礎專利進行分析並整理相關重要技術資訊於附錄中,供研究人員參考。

參考資料

東京電力株式會社,http://www.tepco.co.jp/

John F.Walker, “Wind Energy Technology,” John Wiley & Sons Inc., 1997.

National Wind Technology Center, http://rredc.nrel.gov/wind/pubs/atlas/tables/1-1T.html

陳達仁、黃慕萱,專利資訊與專利檢索,民91,文華圖書館管理資訊有限公司。

簡國明、洪長春、吳典熹、王永銘、藍怡平,奈米二氧化鈦專利地圖與分析,民92,行政院國家科學委員會科學技術資料中心。

鄭凱安、馬仁宏、林殿琪、黃郁棻、劉瑄儀,量子光點應用專利地圖與分析,民92,行政院國家科學委員會科學技術資料中心。

附錄A.重要引證母專利

US 4,075,500 

標題:Variable stator, diffuser augmented wind turbine electrical generation system

應用:The closest known patented device would appear to be presented by the Nelson U.S. Pat. No. 2,815,188 and the Wagner U.S. Pat. No. 2,962, 258 showing ram air turbines mounted within ducts or shrouds which are totally unrelated to any diffuser concept with which this invention is concerned but which are provided with stator vanes behind the turbines which have controllable portions whose angles may be varied for valving the amount of exhaust air from the rotor blades there before. However, it should be soon recognized by those skilled in the art with which this invention relates that the problem for controlling compressor loading, to which such inventions relate, as may be readily seen in the Pike et al U.S. Pat. No. 3,483,881, could not be reasonably related to this invention by one so skilled in the art. 

目標:A more particular object of the invention is to provide a controllable stator, diffuser augmented wind turbine electrical generating means operable between a very low wind velocity and a very high wind velocity which eliminates a need for rotor blade pitch change mechanism, thereby saving as much as 20% of system cost as well as eliminating problems of reliability and maintenance; and which, because of constant rotor speed enables direct connection of the generator to a power grid, will produce a rigorously synchronized AC current for connection to existing line systems in meeting their requirements without a reduction of rotor efficiency whereby a higher production yield per cost of installed equipment is obtainable. A still more particular object of this invention is to utilize in a wind turbine for generating electricity a plurality of supporting stators having movable trailing edge flaps such that the incoming air may be deflected in such a way that a turbine rotor with fixed blades therebehind will operate at a high aerodynamic efficiency and a constant rotational speed throughout a range of useable wind speeds such that an AC generator of synchronized type may be adapted thereto as a one piece unit which is capable of being locked in phase with a power grid that it is to feed without the need of expensive conversion equipment all of which is within a duct or shroud that will be operative as a diffuser to increase the power output by the creation of a negative pressure at the turbine rotor's exhaust plane. It is a still further and additional object of this invention to provide a controllable stator, diffuser augumented wind turbine powered generator system with boundary layer control in the diffuser to take advantage of the plentiful supply of high energy air just outside of the diffuser to provide simple and effective means to reduce diffuser size without performance penalty. To these patents and publications some may wish to erroneously add the prior art with regard to variable stator vanes for the inlet to gas turbine compressors. 

方法: These traces are representative of the calculations derived from the expression C.sub.P = (rotor power)/(1/2.rho.V.sub..infin..sup.3 A) where V.sub..infin. is the wind speed and A is the rotor area. Actually the graphs illustrate that the disclosed invention permits a drop in the power coefficient at high wind speeds equivalent to that of absolute power increasing somewhat slower than the square of the wind velocity. Actually the design then involves the varying of the distribution of inflow angles characterized by the angle at the fourth (next to outermost) radial (span) station until the overall disk loading is at the optimum for the shroud system to which the turbine rotor is being matched. It should be readily appreciated that across the disk area of the monolithic turbine rotor it is possible by proper design to achieve any desired distribution of work extraction along the blade span to produce desired flow conditions behind the turbine and that by the combination aforesaid the torque to the system will change with wind velocity but the rotational speed of the rotor will remain constant because of the characteristics of the synchronous generator. 

特徵:Additionally, the natural variability of wind requires mechanically complex and expensive rotor speed and pitch and control mechanisms for conventional wind turbine machines to provide high operating efficiency over a wide range of wind speeds. First, the ideal efficiency is limited to about 0.593 of the wind power per unit area by the unavoidable shedding of flow around the tip of the rotor. The major benefit of this feature to large wind power generation units is the ability to operate the monolithic turbine rotor at constant rotational speed without need for blade pitch change mechanisms. Therefore, with this invention it is possible to obtain higher power at winds below design speed, and lower power above, relative to the conventional V.sup.3 law. As will be readily appreciated by and after understanding of this invention it is desired to design for a zero exit swirl at a specified design and velocity, whereby the designer can easily select the rotor inflow angle distribution (.phi. r), as set forth by H. Glauert, "The Vortex Theory", Chapter LVI in Volume 4 of AERODYNAMIC THEORY, W. S. Durand, Editor in Chief, Dover, 1963, that gives a good working load distribution to all radial (span) stations of the monolithic rotor.

 

US 4,474,529

標題:Windmill

目標:It is, one object of the invention to provide a new and improved wind energizing system. Another object of the invention is to provide a new and improved windmill and/or wind turbine design. Object of the invention is to provide an improved windmill and/or wind turbine design which is simple in construction, low in cost and capable of operating at varying low and relatively high wind conditions. Object of the invention is to provide improved means for selectively shielding the blades of the windmill or turbine to automatically control its speed of rotation under various wind conditions. Object of the invention is to provide a new and improved method and means for generating electricity from a varying wind source employing a unique windmill or turbine.

方法:A wind turbine journaled on a support for rotation about a substantially vertically positioned axis and employing trough-like vanes spacedly positioned around the axis and extending longitudinally thereof. A windshield is rotatively mounted on the support for surrounding and shielding at least a part of the vanes, which windshield is adjustively positioned relative to the wind to compensate for high wind speeds and resulting wind damage to the turbine. Claimed, a new and improved wind energy system is disclosed employing a novel windmill or wind turbine. Further objects and advantages of the invention will become more apparent as the following description proceeds and the features of novelty which characterize the invention will be pointed out with particularity in the claims annexed to and forming part of the application. To the drawings by characters of reference, FIGS. 1-6 disclose a wind energy apparatus or device 10 comprising a windmill or turbine 11 hereinafter referred to as turbine which may be connected through a gear means 12 to a generator or alternator.

特徵:Improved wind turbine is provided in accordance with the stated objects of the invention with the position of the windshield controlled by the speed of the wind acting against the wind vanes and the coil spring tension.

 

US 4,449,889 (台灣提出之專利)

標題:Windmill

應用:The technical field of this invention is vertical and inclined axis windmills.   

目標:Disclosed is an inclined axis windmill. 

方法:The rotor blades are preferably pivotally connected to the rotor shaft. Such a rotor blade assembly is attached to a rotor hub using a gimbal or other means for allowing the rotor blade assembly to rock back and forth in all directions. The rotor blades could alternatively be individually mounted by pivots to the rotor hub or mounted using a fully articulated connection such as used in many helicopter rotor assemblies. An included angle of approximately 174.degree. has been found desirable. Preferably the tilt angle is maintained between 3.degree. and 10.degree. during normal operating conditions. 

特徵:The upright orientation of rotor shaft 30 allows guy wires 12 to be used. This tower construction is less expensive than free standing towers commonly used with horizontal axis windmills because the tower 10 need not support the horizontal forces applied by the wind and the large bending moments which result therefrom because of the guy wires 12. Pivot pin 47 pivotally supports rotor blade assembly 43 enabling the assembly to rock back and forth as rotor 26 rotates. As the velocity of the wind increases, the tilt angle D automatically becomes smaller thereby tilting the rotor blade assembly 43 into a more horizontal orientation. Shock absorber 70 also acts as a stop to prevent the tilt angle D from becoming less than 3.degree. and from becoming greater than 45.degree.. As the wind velocity increases, the rotor 26 rotates faster and the vane assembly 29 causes tilting assembly 13 to tilt so that rotor shaft 30 becomes closer to vertical. The automatic adjustment of tilt angle D greatly reduces the chance of damaging or destroying the windmill from overspeeding. Since the gyroscopic angular change of the rotor axis is smaller, the force necessary to overcome the gyroscopic effect and rotate the windmill is less and the control tail 20 can more quickly keep the windmill properly oriented with respect to the wind and with less force thereby increasing the efficiency. 

 

US 6,127,739 

標題:Jet assisted counter rotating wind turbine

應用:The present invention relates generally to a wind energy conversion device, more particularly, to the design and manufacturing of a jet assisted counter rotating wind turbine. The present invention relates generally to a wind energy conversion device, more particularly, to the design and manufacturing of a jet assisted counter rotating wind turbine comprising: a windward turbine rotor that is directly connected to a magnetic rotor of an alternator, a leeward turbine rotor that is directly connected to an armature of said alternator, an axial air compressor that is mounted on the outer co-axial shaft and driven by a solid state electric motor, a metallic circular mast upon which said wind turbine unit is mounted by means of a bearing, a piezoelectric actuator device to deploy the trailing edges for maintaining optimal lift to drag ratio. This invention relates to a jet assisted counter-rotating wind turbine, and in particular producing more energy using smaller diameter rotors. This mechanism is also applicable to control the rotor speed in gusty wind environment. 

目標:To alleviate these problems, jet assisted counter rotating wind turbine of the present invention is proposed. 

方法:Hence, the turbine unit can be built using smaller and lighter rotors in contrast to those of prior art. Each rotor comprises of two or three blades. Hence, the electrical energy produced by this method is almost twice that from the prior art. This device can be used to maintain optimum lift to drag ratio with varying wind speeds. 

特徵:The proposed wind turbine achieves a substantially high value of energy efficiency factor, while theoretically possible factor is about 69 per cent. Accordingly, the advantages of the present invention compared to those of prior art are: the co-axial shafts having dual role of torque transmission means and electrical power generation means, the dual role supports reduced structural weight, reduced mechanical friction and power transmission losses, the counter rotating device increases the relative rotational speed of the magnetic flux in the air gap in said alternator and consequently delivers substantially increased power, the counter rotating wind turbine device has the cut-in wind as low as 4 miles per hour compared to 12 miles per hour for the prior art, the axial compressor energizes the stagnant air mass to assist the leeward turbine thereby increasing its aerodynamic efficiency, smaller diameter rotors lead to improved structural integrity and durability, actively controlled piezoelectric actuators deploy the ailerons to maintain optimum lift to drag ratio at all wind speeds. Additional objects and advantages are low cost of ownership and reduced maintenance. Thus, the energy conversion efficiency is further amplified. Thus, the twin rotor turbine system provides substantially increased energy conversion efficiency, while the theoretical limit is seen to be about 69 percent. 

 

US 5,289,041 

標題:Speed control system for a variable speed wind turbine 

應用:A controller and method is disclosed for operating a variable speed turbine to track wind speed fluctuations for high efficiency in conversion of wind energy to electrical energy. The present invention relates to a high efficiency wind turbine, and more specifically, to a rotor speed controller for a variable speed wind turbine that adjusts the rotor speed based on observed and commanded parameters. Although discussed in the context of wind turbines, the present invention has broader application as a controller in any variable speed electrical generator that is supplied with varying power, or in a motor that supplies variable power which is controlled by electrical parameters. Although discussed in the context of wind turbines, the present invention has broader application as a controller for a variable speed electrical generator or a motor which operates at a variable power level.   

目標:In order to maintain constant speed during an increasing wind, braking must be applied, either electrical, mechanical or both. It is highly desirable if the rotor speed is a linear function of wind speed. Additionally, the control system should allow for physical limitations of the turbine, such as the maximum allowable torque on the drive train, aerodynamic thrust on the rotor and power in the electrical system. The present invention provides an improved method and controller for operating a variable speed wind turbine that takes yaw error into account and allows the wind turbine to better track wind variations for greater efficiency in conversion of wind energy to electrical energy.

方法:More specifically, in the preferred embodiment, the wind turbine controller includes a wind observer, a parameter schedule, and a rotor speed stabilizer, each of which will be discussed in sequence. The wind turbine controller of the invention includes a parameter schedule which uses a wind speed prediction supplied by the wind observer as the independent variable. If the wind turbine includes variable pitch blades, then the rotor speed stabilizer also controls the pitch of the blades. In accordance with these desired values, the method further includes selecting a command torque T.sub.ref to be applied as a load torque to the generator at the next time step (t.sub.i +.DELTA.t) so that the actual rotor speed will approach the desired rotor speed.

特徵:The rotating shaft 14 turns a transmission 20 which increases the rotational speed of a rotor 22, including a generator rotor that rotates in the direction of arrow 24. K.sub.2,K.sub.3 are constant gains for providing dynamic stability .omega..sub.R (t.sub.i) is the rotor speed predicted for the current time step .omega..sub.R (t.sub.i +.DELTA.t) is a prediction of the rotor speed at the next time step. Conversely, if the net torque T.sub.net (t.sub.i) is negative, then the previous wind speed prediction is likely to be low, and the wind speed prediction is increased by the first correction term. From a cost vs. benefit standpoint, the thrust limit may be particularly important in the design of a cost- effective wind turbine. To obtain a reference blade pitch angle .xi..sub. ref, a stability correction term may be added to the desired blade pitch angle .xi.* to correct for errors.  

 

US 3,995,170

標題:Wind energy conversion device

應用:The present invention relates basically to wind energy conversion devices and more particularly to such devices that operate on a vertical rotational axis.  

目標:It is a primary object of the present invention to provide a wind energy conversion apparatus that will operate more efficiently to convert wind force to shaft torque. An additional object is to provide such an apparatus that will function both in high velocity winds and in situations where there is little wind current. A yet further object of my invention is to provide such an apparatus that includes safety features to prevent damage from being done to the elements thereof during gusts or excessively high velocity wind.

方法:The device includes a plurality of flexible vanes mounted to a framework for rotation therewith about a vertical axis. The vanes are mounted to upright posts on the framework. Axial vane side edges extend to opposite radial sides of the posts and are connected in a specific manner to the frame in order to produce a positive effect on rotation of the device in a prescribed direction, in response to wind currents. These vectors may be added graphically to result in the final resultant.

特徵:This safety feature reduces possibility of damage to vanes 20 and other structure in very high velocity winds. The first feature is the specific arrangement of the individual vanes 20 on their respective posts 17. In order to produce increased operational efficiency, the inner cords 39 must be longer than the difference of the radial distances from the post axes and first set of connecting points 43a to the shaft axis. The relationships described allow for automatic positioning of the inner and outer vane edges for optimum power transmission about a large portion of the operational circuit. The outer areal surface 21b is overlapped by surfaces 21a in this condition so the only significant force produced is shown by a single vector 57.

US 4,383,801 

標題:Wind turbine with adjustable air foils 

目標:Accordingly, a primary object of the present invention is the provision of a method for extracting energy from surface winds by a vertical axis turbine having means by which the pitch of the individual air foils thereof is continuously changed as the turbine rotates the air foil, or vice versa. Another object of the present invention is the provision of a wind turbine having a vane by which an eccentric means continually adjusts the angle of attack of a plurality of air foils as the air foils rotate about the central axis of the turbine. A still further object of the present invention is the provision of a wind turbine device having vertically arranged variable pitch air foils which are continuously adjusted to maintain an optimum angle of attack as the air foils rotate about a center. The above objects are attained in accordance with the present invention by the provision of a combination of elements which are fabricated in a manner substantially as described in the above abstract and summary. 

方法:The pitch flange moves the air foils into an aligned relationship respective to the wind to optimize the energy derived from the blowing wind. Apparatus is included by which the relative position of the pitch flange is changed, thereby changing the pitch of the air foils, which in turn controls the rotational speed of the turbine. This is accomplished by moving the pitch flange angle relative to the wind vane around its own center. In order to change the relative position of the pitch flange while the system is rotating, it is necessary to provide a device to change the relationship of the pitch flange with respect to the drive flange which changes the relative position of the pitch flange in relation to the wind vane. 

特徵:This leading edge is hinged as shown in the drawings, and greatly increases the lift of the air foil. 

US 4,334,823

標題:Wind or fluid current turbine 

應用:This invention relates to a wind turbine and more particularly to a wind turbine employing articulating blades and overspeed control. Wind turbines of the type to which this invention relates are most usually operated with a vertical axis, although a horizontal axis form is possible. To be effective as a means for converting the energy of a moving fluid stream to rotary motion (i.e. rotation of the shaft of a turbine driving a generator), the turbine must be able to respond promptly to changes in both the speed and direction of the relative stream. While blade assembly pitching is appropriate for turbines using one support arm per blade, toggle pitching is appropriate for turbines using two support arms per blade assembly.   

方法:The blade assembly includes a rocking arm pivotted on the radial arm, a blade member attached to the rocking arm, or a part thereof, and a counterweight attached to the blade. In the vertical form of the present invention, the wind turbine comprises a rotatable central shaft including suitable support bearings, horizontal supporting means operably mounted on the central shaft and having a free end extending in a radial direction from the central shaft, and a blade assembly pivotally supported on the free end of the supporting means, whereby interaction between the wind and the blade assembly causes rotation of the central shaft. These overspeed controls make the present invention more versatile with respect to various applications and permit the turbine to be constructed more lightly yet still strong enough to withstand severe conditions. Thus, the bowstring system uses a hinge at each end of the rocking arms.

特徵:Bias angle--a small, predetermined lagging rock angle when a blade is in its neutral position, in order to cause the blade chord to be tangent to the blade orbit at the center of lift of the blade, which is created by shifting the center of mass of the blade assembly slightly ahead of the leading edge of the blade; an artifact of construction which would be eliminated, for instance, by using a blade chord and counterweight arm forming a continuous curve coincident with the blade orbit. In other words, as the equilibrium angle becomes high enough, the blade begins to "flip" during rock angle reversal. As the counterweight arm flex, the blade assembly becomes unbalanced, which causes the lagging rock angles (upwind) and the leading rock angles (downwind) to become too small or too large, respectively, for efficient operation. As the mean effective rock angle increases, the blade-speed ratio of the windmill of the present invention decreases. An additional advantage of using blade pitching is that the turbine of the present invention can be left "parked" with the blades in the horizontal position.

 

US 4,168,439

標題:Wind turbine 

應用:The present invention relates to a wind powered turbine of the vertical-axis type for use in large configuration.  

目標:In particular, the invention herein contemplates the provision of a self-starting, free-standing, vertical-axis type rotor which employs pivoted airfoil blades, assembled on a circular rotor frame. It is an object of the present invention to provide a self- starting, free-standing, vertical-axis turbine capable of starting in low wind speeds. A further object is to provide a rotor frame which permits the building of large scale wind turbines and form a giant electromagnetic energy converter in which a ring shaped tower base forms a revolving armature common to a number of plug-in individual stators disposed adjacently to it in a circular pattern, for transfer of the energy by electromagnetic induction at ground level. A further object is to provide a controller for allowing precise control of the turbine and switching of the individual energy converters in reference to the prevailing winds.

方法:The following specification discloses an improvement in vertical axis wind machines having upstanding blades. I provide a control means to the pivoted airfoil blades in response to signals produced by a blade pitch control mechanism, to provide a signal for pitch control of the pivoted blades, in phase with the prevailing winds. The turbine rotor herein consists of three pivoted airfoil blades mounted on a ring shaped frame, which forms an integral part of the modular electromagnetic energy converter. The multiple output shaft, provided by the individual guiding wheels, offers an alternative for mechanical energy, which can be coupled to a variety of energy converters, to permit conversion of the wind energy to a variety of energy forms simultaneously, economically and efficiently.

特徵:The outward inclination also permits a greatly reduced centrifugal bending stress that would otherwise be present, if the blades were operated in a vertical plane. This will provide good rotor stability and a high relative speed of the revolving armature to the stationary pick-offs, which also provide considerable savings in the copper requirements of the pick-offs. The integral electromagnetic converter, also offers improved efficiency, since the need for gear boxes has been eliminated. The rotor will operate at a high blade tip ratio, since the modulation of the blades permit a higher efficiency and the pivoted blades to choose a proper angle of attack to effect a higher operating speed. The rotor will be shielded by a non-metalic shield to prevent undesirable induction and prevent magnetic particles from becoming attached to the permanent magnets of the armature.

 

US 4,159,191

標題:Fluid rotor 

應用:The present invention generally relates to rotors for handling compressible fluids such as air and more particularly to rotors that are conical shaped and mounted for rotation about a horizontal axis. 

目標:One of the principal objects of this invention is to provide a very simple rotor that is relatively inexpensive to construct and easy to maintain and efficient in operation.

方法:The rotor is elongated and conical shaped along the rotor axis with elongated blades extending longitudinally and radially inward from an enlarged end to a reduced end. The blades are angularly offset between 1.degree. and 15.degree. from the rotor axis to cause an inner side edge of each blade to be closer to the rotor axis than an outer side edge without the blades being twisted about their longitudinal axis. In one form an electrical generator is operatively attached to the rotor shaft for generating electrical energy in response to the rotation of the rotor by wind passing therethrough. In a second form the rotor is driven by a motor to create an air flow therethrough to serve as a fan. 

特徵:The wind forces against the rotor cause the rotor to be self- centering with respect to the wind direction to eliminate the need for directional vanes, etc. Of considerable import, is the feature that the blades 34 extend rearward at an offset angle .alpha. with respect to the shaft axis. 

 

US 5,664,418

標題:Whirl-wind vertical axis wind and water turbine 

應用:This invention relates to wind and turbines of the type wherein a vertical shaft is turned by the wind or water. By a further feature, a turbine according to the invention is suited for use in extracting energy from water which is in motion.  

目標:More particularly, it relates to an improved method of construction of such a turbine. The present invention provides an improvement in this structural support aspect of vertical axis wind turbines.

方法:Air can be supplied to such cavities from a compressed air source driven by wave action on a body of water. According to the invention in its broader aspect, a vertical axis turbine having a turbine rotor with vertical impeller surfaces is provided with a surrounding circumferential series of vertically deployed deflector vanes, each of which is tubular (in the most general geometric sense) in shape, extending from an edge at its outer circumferential boundary and widening towards the central axis of the turbine to form a generally three-sided cross-section. In a preferred configuration for operation with air the tubular deflector vanes are closed on their inner, base sides, facing the turbine, whereby air received by the turbine impellers is contained momentarily by such closed, inner base sides as the turbine rotates past each tubular deflector vane. Thus the turbine of the invention can be driven simultaneously by both wind and wave energy.  

特徵:By a further feature of the invention, this turbine may be modified to receive air from a source of pressurized air whereby the energy content of the pressurized air can drive the turbine. This, as with the impeller cylinders 5, forms a box-beam-like element that provides great structural integrity and stability for the frame 8, allowing the turbine 1 to be free-standing and self-supporting. This feature is particularly important since the power available from the wind rises with the cube of wind velocity. An advantage of this arrangement is that the turbine 1 can continue to generate power when the wind drops if waves 38 are present.

 

附錄B.近期專利(2000~2005年)

US 6,132,172(台灣提出之專利)

標題:Windmill 

應用:This invention relates to a windmill and particularly to a windmill that is operationable at a low speed wind and has a fly wheel function for rotating long time steadily. Its utilization and application for electricity generation and heat generation is now under testing. 

目標:It is an object of this invention to provide an improved windmill that is operationable at a low speed wind and has small resistance in high speed wind for achieving greater utilization and higher efficiency. It is another object of this invention to provide an improved windmill that has a built-in fly wheel function which may store kinetic energy to produce steady rotation in different wind speed for a long time period.

方法:An improved windmill includes a conical rotor unit, a frame for supporting the conical rotor unit and a base for supporting the frame. The frame is rotationable about the base to enable the conical rotor to capture wind from different directions. According to one aspect of this invention, the windmill includes a conical rotor unit which has curved blades and outer slant blades located thereon to capture wind force, a frame for supporting the conical rotor unit and a base to support the frame. Experiments show that with a windmill embodiment according to this invention weighing 250 kg, the windmill may start rotation at a wind speed of 2.5 meter per second. 

特徵:The conical rotor has small wind resistance and may rotate under low speed wind to generate rotor rotation. This invention aims at providing an improved windmill that may produce steady rotation under various wind speed so that it may achieve high utilization and increased efficiency. The spiral shape blades 11 and 12 has small wind resistance, and thus may offer greater efficiency. As the conical rotor unit is heavier than conventional windmill rotor, it has a fly wheel effect for storing kinetic energy.

 

US 6,285,090

標題:Low-speed directly driven wind turbine  

應用:The invention also concerns a wind turbine equipped with an energy production system in accordance with the invention and in which certain parts, especially the blades, their support, the discoid alternator, and/or the nacelle are manufactured separately and are finally assembled at the top of the wind turbine shaft. The invention also concerns an array of wind turbines each equipped with a system for the production of electrical energy according to the invention and an ac-dc converter.  

目標:It concerns a system for the production concerns electrical energy activated by the force of the wind on the blades of a wind turbine. A global wind turbine control system is generally provided. The object of the invention is the provision of a system for the production of energy associated with a wind turbine that does not require a multiplier, while facilitating construction of the wind turbine and reducing the noise generated by the wind turbine during operation.

方法:An electrical energy production system includes a wind turbine having blades mounted on a support and which rotationally drive an alternator. The following characteristics may likewise be taken into account, individually or according to all technically possible combinations: the system includes a shaft driven in rotation by the blade support, the rotor disk(s) being integrated with said shaft, the blade support includes the alternator frame, which includes the alternator rotor disk(s), a module has a rotor disk arranged, between two stator disks or a stator disk between two rotor disks, the rotor disk or disks have permanent magnets, the stator disks are affixed to the wind turbine nacelle, an ac(-dc)-ac converter is placed between the alternator and the supply network, the ac(-dc)-ac converter consists of a rectifier and an inverter, both controlled by pulse-width modulation, the wind turbine includes a system for global control of the operating parameters. The following characteristics also may be taken into account, individually or according to all their technically possible combinations: the wind turbine array includes an energy storage system between the dc-ac converters and the supply network, the wind turbine array includes at least one kinetic energy storage system, supplied by the dc voltage tapped at the output of the ac-dc converter(s), the kinetic storage system(s) include(s) at least one ac motor driving at least one inertial load and powered by at least one reversible dc-ac converter, which, in turn, is connected to the output of the ac-dc converter(s), the ac-dc converters include of a rectifier controlled by pulse-width modulation, and the dc-ac converters include of an inverter controlled by the principle of pulse-width modulation. In addition, the system according to the invention includes a discoid alternator possessing a large mass and output power. 

特徵:The discoid generator is especially more compact than conventional generators. In addition, the compact form of the discoid alternator allows the form of the nacelle and thus its manufacture to be simplified. The converter has the advantage of not disturbing any supply network remote control signals, much less regenerating them. In addition, the end current control allows the harmonics of the supplied current to be reduced, thus providing high-quality energy to the network. Use of an alternator with magnets connected to an IGBT (insulated gate bipolar transistor) converter has the advantage of increased protection against short circuits, especially if the converter is placed in proximity to the alternator in the nacelle.

 

US 6,278,197

標題:Contra-rotating wind turbine system 

應用:Electrical power is generated as the armature winding on the outer shaft and the plurality of magnets on the inner shaft rotate in opposite directions and power transfer apparatus is provided for drawing off the electrical power from the hub assembly to a distant receiver. The present invention relates generally to a wind energy conversion system and, more particularly, to the design and manufacture of a jet assisted contra-rotating wind turbine system. The present invention relates to wind turbine apparatus which includes an upright mast with support bearings underlying and rotatably supporting a hub assembly having inner and outer coaxial shafts telescopically related but radially spaced to permit independent rotation about a generally horizontal axis. 

目標:A primary feature, then, of the present invention is the provision of an improved wind energy conversion system. 

方法: Wind turbine apparatus includes an upright mast with support bearings underlying and rotatably supporting a hub assembly having inner and outer coaxial shafts telescopically related but radially spaced to permit independent rotation about a generally horizontal axis. The proposed wind turbine system involves three distinct innovations. In a first instance, the turbine design of the invention comprises a pair of rotors directly mounted on a pair of co-axial shafts having airfoil shaped bearing supports. The proposed wind turbine system is on the order of 80% more efficient than its known counterparts and is operable in low wind speed regions.

特徵:It also provides increased relative speed in the magnetic field that improves electrical performance and results in alternators of reduced weight and reduced cost. Another feature of the present invention is the provision of such a wind energy conversion system which employs jet assisted contra-rotating rotor blades. Still another feature of the present invention is the provision of such a wind energy conversion system which employs two rotors turning in opposite directions, the rotors being mounted coaxially and assuming the dual role of a torque transmitting device as well as an alternator. Yet another feature of the present invention is the provision of such a system which recovers the thermal energy generated as iron and copper losses and also the kinetic energy of air that surrounds the hub region. Still a further feature of the present invention is the provision of such a system which improves the aerodynamic efficiency of rotor blades by removing the air blockage behind the leeward rotor and re-directing it through radial passages extending the length of each of the leeward rotor blades and exiting tangentially at the blade tips to assist the rotor in developing additional torque.

 

US 6,452,287

標題:Windmill and method to use same to generate electricity, pumped air or rotational shaft energy  

目標:An improved windmill and a method for generating electricity, pumped air or rotational shaft energy are provided.

方法:A rotor is mounted co-axially to the stator, being the rotor for both the windmill blades and the energy generating mechanism. Fixed windmill blades or blades which lessen angle of attack in response to increasing wind pressure are attached to the rotor. The windmill according to this invention includes a support arm horizontally pivoting from one of its ends upon a vertical axis bearing atop a mounting mast, the other end of the support arm fixedly supporting a stator providing both windmill stator functions and generating mechanism stator functions. Such change of angle of attack may obviously be accomplished by various known conventional spring and pivot mechanisms not shown. 

特徵:Eliminate weight, cost and efficiency penalties by providing a single simple low cost support arm which performs the five functions of supporting the windmill, aligning it into the wind, elevating it downwind above mounting mast turbulence, contribute to the elimination of induced spiral air circulation in front of the blade disk, and provide a conduit for transmitting the energy produced to the mounting mast. Eliminate weight and cost penalties by providing a single dual function stator which provides both windmill stator functions and energy producing mechanism stator functions. Eliminate weight and cost penalties by providing a single dual function rotor which provides both windmill rotor functions and energy generation rotor functions. Eliminate weight and cost penalties, by not needing any device to stop the windmill from operating in any high wind. Eliminate energy loss by having the windmill less sensitive to the effects of wind gusts.

 

 

US 6,492,743

標題:Jet assisted hybrid wind turbine system  

應用:The present invention relates generally to a wind energy conversion system and, more particularly, to the design and manufacture of a hybrid wind turbine system that can be designed to provide certain level of power during low wind speed seasons. 

目標:The present invention describes a method of designing and manufacturing a hybrid wind turbine apparatus, which can provide certain level of power even when wind speed is as low as cut-in speed without requiring any auxiliary units.

方法:Hybrid wind turbine apparatus includes a pair of counter rotating rotors having micro thrusters fitted at tip of each blade of the rotors. In essence, the proposed hybrid wind turbine device involves three distinct innovations. In a first instance, the turbine design of the invention comprises a pair of counter rotating rotors that are directly mounted on the generator units without using any mechanical gearing devices. The proposed wind turbine system is on the order of 80% more efficient than its known counterparts and is operable in low wind speed regions. 

特徵:In essence a thruster must be mechanically simple, inexpensive to manufacture and maintain. In a second instance, thruster assisted hybrid power generating device reduces initial capital cost of power in terms of dollar per kilowatt. Because, thrusters are very inexpensive to manufacture unlike gas turbines and use inexpensive fuel, and drive the same electrical generator without the need for auxiliary units. In a third instance, as another feature of the present invention is a method of recycling kinetic and thermal energies to produce electrical power. 1. these innovations disclosed are expected to increase the energy conversion efficiency by 80 to 90 per cent compared to the conventional wind turbines of similar rotor disk area; 2. improved energy conversion efficiency leads to light weight turbine system, easy to install and maintain, with reduced acquisition cost and annual energy cost; 3. proposed jet assisted hybrid system permits installation of renewable energy units embodying the invention for irrigation, schools, hospitals and hotels in many more low wind speed sites, 4. proposed innovation can be applied to upgrade existing wind turbine machines that can produce more power. 

 

US 6,688,842

標題:Vertical axis wind engine   

應用:This invention relates generally to wind turbines and the like, and more particular to a vertical axis wind turbine that utilizes the kinetic energy of moving air to provide rotational energy useable for generating electric power and/or other useful purposes. 

目標:It is an object of this invention to overcome the forgoing and other disadvantages of prior art wind turbines. The objective is to sweep a large surface area at the highest speed possible, using a minimum number of airfoils (two or three). In order to meet Betz's criteria for efficiency, a wind turbine must be able to exploit crosswind lift to produce the necessary airfoil speeds. Thus, the wind engine of the instant invention is a new lift-based VAWT design providing significantly improved performance, mechanical attributes, and aesthetics.

方法:This object is achieved by providing a VAWT (referred to herein as a vertical axis wind engine) having "free flying" airfoils that self position according to the local dynamic conditions to which they are subjected, thus creating a condition of equilibrium under which a highly efficient means of wind energy extraction may be established. The design uses no cams, gears, levers, or other mechanisms to position the airfoils, thereby reducing design complexity, minimizing frictional overhead, and increasing working efficiency. Unlike the other phases that work to produce torque and rotational speed, this phase is an idle or return segment. Thus, the invention provides a vertical axis wind engine with at least one and preferably multiple self-positioning airfoils that introduces a five-step sequence to wind turbine technology, along with exponentially shaped wind funneling and stacked wind engine towers.

特徵:That arrangement enables the airfoil to align the angle-of-attack axis continually according to the wind as it orbits the vertical axis. In terms of its many advantageous design features, the wind engine of the invention is a vertical axis wind engine with one or more self- positioning airfoils that achieve better conversion of wind energy to useable rotational energy by optimizing the lift and drag characteristics within the appropriate rotor speed ranges. The following illustrative drawings and detailed description make the foregoing and other objects, features, and advantages of the invention more apparent. Stops should constrain the movement of the airfoils without abruptness, allowing a "soft stop." The wind engine is a new lift-based VAWT design providing significantly improved performance, mechanical attributes, and aesthetics.  

 

US 6,749,394

標題:Rotating display apparatus    

應用:This invention relates generally to displays for decorative, advertising, and other promotional purposes, and more particularly to a rotating display apparatus powered by the wind for rotation about a vertical axis. 

目標:The intent is obviously for the display of advertising as opposed to a continuously rotating mechanism. Thus, existing RDAs have some drawbacks that need to be overcome, and so a need exists for an RDA that overcomes those concerns, preferably an RDA incorporating benefits of modern aerodynamic design and performance theory. It is an objective of this invention to overcome the forgoing and other disadvantages of prior art rotating display devices.

方法:A rotating display apparatus includes a support structure, a rotor mounted rotatably on the support structure for rotation about a vertically disposed rotational axis, and at least two (preferably more) wind-reactive elements on the rotor on which a user may display promotional, political, or other information, including using the shape of the wind-reactive elements as the displayed information. This object is achieved by providing a rotating display apparatus (RDA) having "free flying" wind-reactive elements that self position according to the local dynamic conditions to which they are subjected, thus creating a condition of equilibrium under which a highly efficient means of wind energy extraction may be established. In terms of its many advantageous design features, the RDA of the invention uses two or more self-positioning wind-reactive elements that achieve better conversion of wind energy to useable rotational energy. Based upon the foregoing description and the information provided in the vertical axis wind engine patent application identified above, one of ordinary skill in the art can readily construct a rotating display apparatus according to the invention utilizing any of various different dampening arrangements.

特徵:The rotating display apparatus (RDA) of this invention provides significantly improved performance, mechanical attributes, and aesthetics. This allows the device to rotate in very low and unstable wind conditions, using drag forces alone, which is an advantage to a device that may be mounted near the ground for decorative purposes. The following illustrative drawings and detailed description make the foregoing and other objects, features, and advantages of the invention more apparent. The constrictor dampening mechanism is relatively low cost, simple, and maintenance free, and the stopping position of the wind-reactive element 14 is easily set by adjusting the shape of the position lever 204 or the leg 203. Thus, the invention provides a rotating display apparatus with at least two and preferably more self-positioning wind-reactive elements providing significantly improved performance, mechanical attributes, and aesthetics.  

 

US 6,769,873

標題:Dynamically reconfigurable wind turbine blade assembly   

應用:The invention relates to wind turbines and is directed more particularly to a turbine blade assembly in which the turbine blades are reconfigured for maximum performance automatically in the course of operation of the turbine. The assembly herein described has been found useful, for example, in a typical 750 kW turbine. 

目標:For both low and high wind speeds, it is desirable to control the local blade angle of attack to establish optimal operating conditions. During high wind speeds, it is desirable to increase the rotational velocity of the turbine, and decrease the rotational velocity during low wind speeds. Accordingly, there is a need to provide an alternative wind turbine assembly which facilitates control of the angle of attack of the blades, as by actively or dynamically reconfiguring the blades to provide continuous adjustment of the angle of attack, as by local blade pitch angle adjustments and/or by pitching the entire blades. An object of the invention is, therefore, to provide a wind turbine assembly adapted to twist the turbine blades dynamically to increase efficiency at low wind speeds, and reduce dynamic loads at high wind speeds.

方法:A dynamically reconfigurable wind turbine blade assembly includes a plurality of reconfigurable blades mounted on a hub, an actuator fixed to each of the blades and adapted to effect the reconfiguration thereof, and an actuator power regulator for regulating electrical power supplied to the actuators. With the above and other objects in view, a feature of the present invention is the provision of a dynamically reconfigurable wind turbine blade assembly comprising a plurality of reconfigurable twistable blades mounted on a hub, an actuator fixed to each of the blades and adapted to effect the reconfiguration thereof, and an actuator power regulator for regulating electrical power supplied to the actuators. Taper is generally used to provide, as much as possible, uniform loading over the turbine disk to extract a maximum amount of energy from the wind. For a typical wind turbine, a majority of the forces and moments are produced from 50% span and outboard.

特徵:In accordance with a further feature of the invention, there is provided a dynamically reconfigurable wind turbine blade assembly comprising a plurality of blades, each being reconfigurable while in operation to assume a selected configuration, an actuator embedded in each of the blades and adapted to receive electrical power to effect the blade reconfiguration to the selected configuration, and an actuator power regulator for regulating the electrical power supplied to the actuators. The computer algorithm adjusts the power command until blade twist sensors 36 indicate that the optimum blade shape has been obtained. The purpose of the second set of wires 50 is to allow twist in both direction for neutral position and to provide quicker response time. Opposing actuator wires also provide a quicker response time on the return twist and compensate for histeresis in the flexible blade material. The assembly further improves the efficiency of wind turbine systems by extending the range of wind speeds at which wind turbines can practically produce energy.  

 

US 6,800,956

標題:Wind power system    

應用:This invention relates to providing a system for the generation of electrical power using an improved 900-watt class wind turbine system.  

目標:It is a further object and feature of the present invention to provide such a system that has a lower cost to produce and operate than other alternate power generation systems. It is a further object and feature of the present invention to provide such a system that has high power generation efficiency. It is a further object and feature of the present invention to provide such a system that produces a low level of sound during operation. It is a further object and feature of the present invention to provide such a system that is relatively easy to install and maintain. 

方法:In accordance with a preferred embodiment hereof, this invention provides a wind-driven system, for producing electric current, comprising, in combination: at least one frame adapted to swivel about a substantially vertical axis, comprising at least one front-portion adapted to extend forwardly into a wind-flow direction and at least one rear-portion adapted to extend rearwardly downwind from such at least one front portion; at least one guide-vane connected to such at least one frame and adapted to guide such at least one frame with respect to the wind-flow direction; at least one magnetic-field producer, comprising at least one rotor adapted to rotate about at least one rotational axis; at least one alternator, connected to such at least one frame, adapted to produce electric current, comprising at least one rotor shaft adapted to support such rotor for rotation of such at least one magnetic-field producer; wherein such at least one magnetic-field producer and such at least one alternator together comprise at least one electric current generator; and at least one airfoil blade, mounted to at least one end of such at least one rotor, adapted to drive such at least one rotor; and at least one nose-cone, extending forwardly from such at least one front-portion, adapted to modify air-flow through such wind-driven means; wherein such at least one nose-cone comprises at least one peripheral relief adapted to permit augmentation of air In accordance with another preferred embodiment hereof, this invention provides a wind-driven system, for producing electric current, comprising, in combination: at least one frame adapted to swivel about a substantially vertical axis, comprising at least one front-portion adapted to extend forwardly into a wind-flow direction and at least one rear-portion adapted to extend rearwardly downwind from such at least one front portion; at least one guide-vane connected to such at least one frame and adapted to guide such at least one frame with respect to the wind-flow direction; at least one magnetic-field producer, comprising at least one rotor adapted to rotate about at least one rotational axis; at least one alternator, connected to such at least one frame, adapted to produce electric current, comprising at least one rotor shaft adapted to support such rotor for rotation of such at least one magnetic-field producer; wherein such at least one magnetic-field producer and such at least one alternator together comprise at least one electric current generator; and at least one airfoil blade, mounted to at least one end of such at least one rotor, adapted to drive such at least one rotor; and at least one nose-cone, extending forwardly from such at least one front-portion, adapted to modify air-flow through such wind-driven means; wherein such at least one airfoil blade comprises at least one longitudinal axis and at least one skin In accordance with another preferred embodiment hereof, this invention provides a wind-driven system, for producing electric current, comprising, in combination: at least one frame adapted to swivel about a substantially vertical axis, comprising at least one front-portion adapted to extend forwardly into a wind-flow direction and at least one rear-portion adapted to extend rearwardly downwind from such at least one front portion; at least one guide-vane connected to such at least one frame and adapted to guide such at least one frame with respect to the wind-flow direction; at least one magnetic-field producer, comprising at least one rotor adapted to rotate about at least one rotational axis; at least one alternator, connected to such at least one frame, adapted to produce electric current, comprising at least one rotor shaft adapted to support such rotor for rotation of such at least one magnetic-field producer; wherein such at least one magnetic-field producer and such at least one alternator together comprise at least one electric current generator; and at least one airfoil blade, mounted to at least one end of such at least one rotor, adapted to drive such at least one rotor; at least one nose-cone, extending forwardly from such at least one front-portion, adapted to modify air-flow through such wind-driven means; at least one supporting tower for such at least one frame; wherein such at least one supporting tower.

特徵:A primary object and feature of the present invention is to provide a system for the production of electricity using power derived from the wind. A further primary object and feature of the present invention is to provide such a system that is efficient, inexpensive, and handy. This method produces a bond or part line that is dense in carbon fibers near the part line that is structurally superior to potted or adhesive bonded blades or parts (skins that are simply bonded or glued together).  

 

US 6,710,469

標題:Fluid-powered energy conversion device   

應用:The present invention relates generally to electrical generation and energy conversion devices, and more particularly to a fluid-powered energy conversion device that converts the energy of wind or flowing water to mechanical or electrical energy. 

目標:It would be desirable to distribute smaller water-powered and wind-powered units throughout the population centers. For example, it would be desirable to have a wind-powered unit for each building structure, thus distributing the generating capacity over the entire area, and making the energy supply less vulnerable to local events such as storms or earthquakes. The present invention provides such a device. In one aspect, the present invention is a fluid-powered energy conversion device for converting wind energy into mechanical or electrical energy.

方法:The device includes a rigid cylindrical frame having an upstream annular chamber, an intervening turbine, and, a downstream annular chamber, each of the chambers having sides that are open to allow entry of the ambient wind. The device may also include an annular central divider between the upstream chamber and the downstream chamber that has a downstream surface that slopes away from the turbine as it approaches the central axis of the device. The device includes a rigid cylindrical frame having an upstream annular chamber and a downstream annular chamber, each of the chambers having sides that are open to allow entry of the stream of water. In yet another aspect, the present invention is a fluid-filled flywheel mounted on a drive shaft for reducing start-up inertia of the flywheel and maintaining angular momentum of the drive shaft as it rotates in a direction of rotation.

特徵:These features can significantly boost the efficiency of a wind-powered or water-powered device that operates with varying input power levels. As an additional feature, shipping weight is greatly reduced because the fluid can be added at the point of use. Further, all metal parts may be coated with, for example, plastic, chrome, or paint to prevent corrosion. As a result, the present invention provides a new and improved wind-power conversion device which is quieter, safer, more efficient, and more cost effective than existing devices. 

 

US 6,841,894

標題:Wind power generator having wind channeling body with progressively reduced section    

應用:The present invention relates to a wind power generator having a wind channeling body with a progressively reduced section.

目標:Therefore, the purpose of the present invention is to enable the use of wind power in a beneficial and profitable way, even with a very low wind strength according to the Beaufort scale.

方法:A wind power recovery device has a tower, a rotor arranged on the tower and including a plurality of blades rotatable under the action of wind, the rotor also having an axis for transmitting the rotation of the rotor to another apparatus, a wind channeling body provided with a series of walls which form channelings with a section which is progressively reduced from an entry side of the wind channeling body to an exit side of the channeling body toward the rotor to affect tangentially the blades of the rotor at a speed higher than at the entry side of the body, the wind channeling body having a side face, and a blind protecting the side face of the channeling body. The improvements referenced by the present invention consist of incorporating to a reinforced concrete structure a series of internally located wind power recovery devices, comprising such structure a vertical axis body with a series of channelings and adjustable blinds especially arranged and suitably located in the device, being such body located at the top of a tower of a relatively low height and also preferably made up of reinforced concrete. According to the drawings, the improvements introduced in the vertical axis wind power recovery devices comprise a reinforced concrete tower (1) on top of which there is located a wind channeling body (2) that has an open side face but delimited in its entire contour by adjustable blinds (3). All the processes can be controlled by means of a microprocessor, controlled preferably by satellite, thus provided with a series of sensors for vibration, meteorological control, such as anemometers, wind vanes and thermometers, speed, temperature and hydraulic, among others, which basically control the different operating situations of the rotor (6), axis (16), generator (17), step-up gearbox (15) and brakes.

特徵:According to the above description, the optimum working layer for models between 5 and 15 meters in height includes wind speeds between 5 and 21 m/s (18 and 75.6 km/h), achieving an outstanding performance. As for the lower height model, optimum performance is achieved between wind speeds of 4 to 8 m/s (14.4 and 28.8 km/h), high-low values that usually occur in cities and open inland areas. As they move closer to the rotor (6), the channelings (5) offer a continuous reduction in their section so that the admission area (8) has a surface larger than the exit section of the channeling (9). In addition, this special layout enables a better recovery of low speed winds produced at the end of strong wind gusts. This control system also enables to operate the adjustable blinds (3) so that they can change their aperture appropriately. 

 

US 6,870,281

標題:Wind power plant stabilization     

應用:The invention concerns wind newer plant stabilization. The invention concerns a wind power plant, especially a horizontal-axis wind power plant with a rotor which can, preferably, rotate about an approximately horizontal axis and at least one rotor blade extending transversely across, preferably approximately perpendicular to, the rotor axis; an adjusting means to adjust the at least one, preferably each, rotor blade, such that the torque generated by the wind load with respect to the rotor axis can be changed by the adjustment; and a stabilizing system with which the rotor can be stabilized in at least one specified, particularly a low-load rotational position (park position).

目標:But the object of the embodiment of the invention just described is not the activation of a mechanical blade adjustment system for braking, but the position-controlled activation of a constructively similarly designed system to stabilize the rotor in a low-load position (horizontal for two-blade or single-blade rotors).

方法:An embodiment of a wind power plant includes a rotor to rotate about a rotor axis, a rotor blade coupled with the rotor, the rotor blade including a torque adjustment, and a stabilizing system to stabilize the rotor in a position, the stabilizing system including a control to adjust the torque of the rotor blade to counteract changes in a rotational position of the rotor. In view of the problems with the state of the technology, described above, the invention is based on the objective of reducing the loading on a wind power plant in the parked condition. This invention is based on the realization that loads can be reduced in the parked status if the rotor can be stabilized in a low-load position (rotational adjustment) without using a rotor brake or rotor arrest mechanism. These adjustment systems can each comprise a rotatable connection, which can be adjusted by a drive, between the rotor hub and the rotor blade, and which can be placed essentially concentrically with each other.

特徵:With the wind power plant according to the invention it is possible to achieve rotor stabilization with simultaneous avoidance of high dynamic loads using a coupling or control means which can be realized with a very simple design. As has already been discussed above, stabilization can be achieved particularly simply if the at least one rotor blade can be rotated at least partially, by the adjustment means in the usual manner, about an axis of rotation running across the rotor axis, preferably parallel to the long axis of this rotor blade. In the case of a one-blade or two-blade rotor, for which the invention is particularly advantageous, the rotor can appropriately be stabilized in the low-load horizontal position in which the rotor blade or blades is(are) set horizontally. In this case, the oil supply is particularly simple, through the lubricating system which is there for the main drive in any case. That system can also make it possible to adjust the other rotor blades of the wind power plant through the bevel gear 112 even if one rotor blade 30 is blocked.