Low-Cost Wind Energy Through Dense VAWT Arrays: Fatigue Loads and Power Performance Risk Mitigation

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Special Projects
Project Term:
07/01/2021 - 06/30/2023

Critical Need:

This topic seeks to support entrepreneurial energy discoveries, by identifying and supporting disruptive concepts in energy-related technologies within small businesses and collaborations with universities and national labs. These projects have the potential for large-scale impact, and if successful could create new paradigms in energy technology with the potential to achieve significant reductions in U.S. energy consumption, energy-related imports, or energy-related emissions. These specific projects address technology areas across ARPA-E’s mission spaces, with particular focus on: Advanced bioreactors; Approaches and tools to create enhanced geothermal systems; Non-evaporative dehydration and drying technologies; Approaches to significantly enhance the rate and/or potential scale of carbon mineralization; Separation of CO2 from ambient air (direct air capture); High-rate separation of dissolved inorganic carbon from the ocean to produce a CO2 stream; Advanced trees and other engineered biological systems for carbon sequestration; Innovative deep ocean collector designs for mining polymetallic nodules; Environmental sensors capable of operation in deep ocean environments for mining polymetallic nodules; and Non-carbothermic smelting technologies. Awards under this topic are working to support research and establish potential new areas for technology development, while providing ARPA-E with information that could lead to new focused funding programs. The focus of these projects is to support exploratory research to establish viability, proof-of-concept demonstration for new energy technology, and/or modeling and simulation efforts to guide development for new energy technologies.

Project Innovation + Advantages:

The proposed technology will boost the power production and increase the density of utility wind farms, resulting in at least a 23% reduction in levelized cost of energy (LCOE) from the wind. The flow dynamics of vertical-axis wind turbines (VAWTs) enable constructive interactions between rotors in a wind farm, increasing power up to 30% over non-interacting turbines, and increasing VAWT density per unit land-area an order of magnitude compared with state-of-the-art wind farms. XFlow Energy Company (XFlow) will perform simulations to examine the impacts of close turbine spacing on rotor fatigue and power performance coupled with experimental studies to validate and refine the simulation models.


ARPA-E Program Director:
Dr. Douglas Wicks
Project Contact:
Dr. Ian Brownstein
Press and General Inquiries Email:
Project Contact Email:

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