Knight & Carver Builds First STAR Blade for the DOE

Knight & Carver’s Wind Blade Division has completed the first in a series of 27.5-meter wind blades as part of a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) project that ranks as an advance in wind energy production. The Sweep Twist Adaptive Rotor (STAR) blade’s characteristic is a gently curved tip, which, unlike the vast majority of blades in current use, is specially designed for low-wind-speed regions.

Instead of the traditional linear shape, the blade features a curvature toward the trailing edge, designed to relieve pressure on the blade and turbine drive train. The blade, which takes maximum advantage of all wind speeds, including marginal speeds, is scheduled for static-testing at Knight & Carver’s onsite test facility in San Diego during December. A second blade will be built before the end of the year. “Depending on the wind farm’s site, this blade will capture between 5 and 10 percent more energy,” said Gary Kanaby, Knight & Carver’s Blade Division Manager. The project is a cooperative effort among several companies and institutions including Knight & Carver YachtCenter, Sandia Laboratories, Dynamic Design, MDZ Consulting, University of California at Davis, and NSE Composites. Last April, Knight & Carver’s Wind Blade Division was honored by the U.S. DOE for research and development on the STAR blade project.

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