About Guest Blogger Ryan A. Church

Ryan A. Church is the founder and CEO of BiomeRenewables, a biomimetic renewable energy start-up based in Toronto, Canada. He is passionate about transforming knowledge of the natural world into intelligent products that can accelerate the growth of the renewable energy industry and forge new businesses. Ryan holds a M.Des degree in Strategic Foresight and Innovation from OCAD University, to go with a background in the physical sciences and B.A. (Hons.) in Art History from the University of Victoria.

PowerCone™ Wind Turbine Development Accelerated with Simulation

Artist rendering of the PowerCone

The journey of BiomeRenewables’ PowerConeTM wind turbine started with witnessing a falling maple seed. I was sitting on my deck when I was struck by how slowly the seed was able to fall. As it turns out, maple seeds — for their size — exhibit maximum aerodynamic efficiency; they are able to hit what is known as the Betz Limit — 59.3 percent aerodynamic efficiency. Careful analysis revealed that there is something about the seed’s shape and the way it interacts with the air that allows it to achieve such high efficiency numbers — namely, that it interacts with the oncoming flow at an angle greater than 90 degrees. This is not the case with modern wind turbines, which interact with the wind at perpendicular angles of 90 degrees. Continue reading