Vertical research partners paper & packaging conference

The sight of propeller-like rotating blades positioned high up the pole of a tall horizontal-axis wind turbine (HAWT) may be familiar to many. Often grouped in wind farms, HAWTs provide significant amounts of energy for local communities. One drawback to HAWTs is the large space they take up, needing to be placed far apart from each other. If placed too close together, the turbulence and wind velocity deficit caused by one HAWT can make a neighboring HAWT output much less power. To address this, researchers are looking at vertical-axis wind turbines (VAWTs), which could be either arranged in groups or interspersed within HAWT arrays. A VAWT has an overall cylindrical shape, with the blades aligned parallel to, and rotating around, the pole on which the rotor is mounted. These "egg-beater" VAWTs tend to be much smaller than the "propeller" HAWTs, typically about 10 times shorter in height, and output only about percent as much power per turbine.

In addition, other elements conspire to take away from the harvest for which we worked so hard to produce. Despite the best application of modern agricultural practices, an unavoidable portion of what is grown rots in the fields prior to harvest time, or in the world’s storage bins afterwards. Every year, depending upon geographic location and intensity of El Niño events, crops suffer from too little water and wither on the spot, or are lost to severe flooding, hailstorms, tornados, earthquakes, hurricanes, cyclones, fires, and other destructive events of nature. Many of these phenomena are at best difficult to predict, and at worst are impossible to react to in time to prevent the losses associated with them. In sub-Saharan Africa, locusts remain an ever-present threat (42), and can devastate vast areas of farmland in a matter of days. Even after a bumper crop is realized, problems associated with processing and storage lessen the actual tonnage that is available to the consumer. A large portion of the harvest, regardless of the kind of plant or grain, is despoiled or a portion consumed by a variety of opportunistic life forms (., fungi, bacteria, insects, rodents) after being stored. While it is conceded that at present the abundance of cash crops is more than sufficient to meet the nutritional needs of the world’s human population, delivering them to world markets is driven largely by economics, not biological need. Thus, the poorest people – some billion – are forced to live in a constant state of starvation (43), with many thousands of deaths per year attributable to this wholly preventable predicament (44). Locating vertical farms near these human “hot spots” would greatly alleviate this problem.

Vertical research partners paper & packaging conference

vertical research partners paper & packaging conference

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