SuperVawt was founded to investigate a new control system for vertical axis wind turbines, specifically one that controls the pitch and camber of a blade. Finding the efficiency, turned out to be just the beginning of our journey.
Despite global interest in vertical axis wind turbines, there are currently no manufacturers of large-scale vertical axis wind turbines. Consequently, there is no proven structural solution that we can licence. To draw an automotive analogy, it's akin to not having a proven chassis to work from. This poses a more significant challenge because the turbine size required to prove the efficiency is significantly smaller than what is commonly used for power generation from the wind.
Designing wind turbines is a complex engineering task, and designing two different turbines essentially doubles the workload. There are very few engineers with experience in building megawatt-scale vertical axis wind turbines. Furthermore, as structural solutions can vary significantly at each scale, it's fair to say that very few individuals truly understand where the cost and weight of megawatt-scale vertical axis wind turbines will ultimately settle. Even among those who have engineered solutions that meet all the requirements, there may not be a consensus on the structural approach to take.
There exists a range of structural solutions and materials that can be employed, and there is no one-size-fits-all answer. Like most engineering challenges, it often boils down to making compromises, driven by factors such as cost and a component's intended design life.
While it is understandable that a review of older and more recent vertical axis wind turbine designs might lead to a negative outlook. Vertical axis wind turbines hold the potential to be valuable for generating electricity from the wind in the future. We don't expect everyone to agree with this assessment at the moment, and it may take many years for wider acceptance, and that's perfectly okay.