Ural Scientists Ready to Cover Russia’s Energy Demand

Ural scientists developed wind power installations with a brand new control system, which has the potential to become a real energy godsend for Russia’s regions.

The project to create a power control system for wind installations kick-started in 2013. The novelty is that the system allows the automatic regulation of the rotation velocity of the moving elements, according to the wind speed.

Similar autonomous hybrid wind-solar installations are already being operated in Chelyabinsk city and the region, Yaroslavl, Yekaterinburg, the US and Japan. A solar collector for providing heat and hot water to individual consumers has been developed and is now undergoing a test study.

Recent issues with energy supply in Crimea revealed the need to provide the peninsula with independent energy sources, one of which may be wind power. The place seems to be perfectly suitable for that in terms of its climate. It is planned to start generating energy in Crimea in 2017, and it will take 5 to 7 years to cover its energy needs.

According to one of the developers, the trial version of the new wind power installation with the new control system was tested in the Arctic on one of the GLONASS objects that required an alternative to diesel generators – and proved successful. A standard production model is currently under development, supported by the Ministry of Defense.

All existing analogues are not viable, given the actual operational environment and strong winds. There are no wind power installations in the world that could actually generate electricity when the wind speed is over 15 meters per second, the developers say. The Ural system allows us to generate energy even during storms when the wind speed is around 60 meters per second.

It is estimated that almost two thirds of Russia’s territory are suitable for wind power production. For example, for a country house one would need a 5 kW installation. Hybrid installations of up to 6 kW are currently being developed. An average price of a control system for such an installation will be around $300. However, the price will drop once this hits the mass market.

Renewable energy is still developing way too slowly in Russia. One of the reasons is the lack of affordable domestic technologies. Russian scientists do possess test objects that are ready for production. However, it is rarely possible to start mass production with no state support. This leads to the majority of projects “leaving” for the West.

‘We hope that Russian scientists will have the chance to receive state support to develop renewable energy technology,’ says Olga Senova, head of Russian Social Ecological Union’s Climate Secretariat. ‘Renewables have the potential to solve a lot of issues and provide our regions with affordable clean energy that they need so much.’