Optiwind Demolition–The Fate of Many Revolutionary Wind Turbines

By Paul Gipe

In the research for his new book, Vaughn Nelson has been dredging up some amazing videos. (See Hywind Scotland Floating Offshore Wind Turbine Video.)

One he came across in Extreme Demolition: 200ft wind turbine tower toppled in Torrington CT, Connecticut Aerial Video that was posted Oct 15, 2013 on the demolition of Optiwind’s prototype.

The “device” as I am hard pressed to call it a wind turbine was installed at Klug Hill Farm, Torrington, Connecticut. It was erected in 2009 shortly before the company went defunct. According to Vaughn, the device was rated at ~ 50 kW from two small turbines. The tower was 61 meters tall.

On page 181 in the chapter on Novel Wind Systems of my new book Wind Energy for the Rest of Us (2016) there’s a sidebar describing  “a thinly-veiled attempt to rebrand Diffuser-Augmented Wind Turbines (DAWTs) as Compact wind acceleration turbines on Wikipedia.org” around 2010.

Here’s an excerpt from the sidebar Warning: Rebranding of VAWTs.

“It’s possible that the disastrous commercial and technical history of DAWTs, shrouded turbines, and concentrators has so poisoned the Internet well that promoters of these designs think the only way to get their message out of a new “revolutionary product” is to coin a new term that’s not burdened with such baggage.

Defunct Optiwind is the first mentioned. (Optiwind looked like a modern-day version of TARP for Toroidal Acceleration Rotor Platform from the 1970s.)”

Don’t go looking for Optiwind on the web. It’s gone. In its place using the same domain is a Swedish VAWT.