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Title:
COMPRESSED AIR DIRECT DRIVE TURBINE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/046542
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Disclosed herein are systems and methods for generating electrical power. The systems and methods can include a wind turbine, an air drive, and a storage vessel. The wind turbine may include a generator and be configured to generate electricity when confronted with a wind velocity that exceeds a predetermined velocity. The air drive may be operatively coupled to the generator and configured to operate the generator when the wind velocity is less than the predetermined wind velocity. The storage vessel may be in fluid communication with the air drive and configured to direct compressed air stored within the storage vessel to the air drive when the wind velocity is less than the predetermined wind velocity.

Inventors:
KUTNINK KEVIN (US)
Application Number:
PCT/US2018/048770
Publication Date:
March 07, 2019
Filing Date:
August 30, 2018
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
KUTNINK KEVIN (US)
International Classes:
F03D9/17
Foreign References:
DE102011082725A12013-03-21
US20100060013A12010-03-11
Other References:
None
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
LANG, Roger et al. (US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
Claimed is:

1. A power generation system comprising:

a wind turbine including a generator, the wind turbine configured to generate electricity when confronted with a wind velocity that exceeds a predetermined velocity;

an air drive operatively coupled to the generator and configured to operate the generator when the wind velocity is less than the predetermined wind velocity; and

a storage vessel in fluid communication with the air drive and configured to direct compressed air stored within the storage vessel to the air drive when the wind velocity is less than the predetermined wind velocity.

2. The power generation system of claim 1 , further comprising an air compressor in fluid communication with the storage vessel and configured to fill the storage vessel with compressed air.

3. The power generation system of claim 2, wherein the air compressor is electrically coupled to the generator.

4. The power generation system of claim 2, wherein the air compressor is electrically coupled to a power grid.

5. The power generation system of claim 2, wherein the air compressor is selectively electrically coupled to the generator and a power grid.

6. The power generation system of claim 1, further comprising a control unit configured to transmit a signal to a valve located between the storage vessel and the air drive, the signal configured to actuate the valve, wherein actuation of the valve causes the compressed air to exit the storage vessel and drive the air drive.

7. The power generation system of claim 1, further comprising a control unit configured to receive a signal from an anemometer located proximate the wind turbine, the signal included data indicative of the wind velocity'.

8. A method for controlling a wind turbine, the method comprising: receiving, at a computing device, a first signal including data indicative of a wind velocity proximate the wind turbine, the first signal received from an anemometer located proximate the wind turbine; determining, by the computing device, the wind velocity;

when the wind velocity is less than a predetermined wind velocity, transmit a second signal to a valve, the second signal operative to actuate the valve such that compressed air is released from a storage vessel; and

when the wind velocity is greater than the predetermined wind velocity, transmit a third signal to the valve, the third signal operative to actuate the valve such that a flow of the compressed air from the storage vessel is halted.

9. The method of claim 8, wherein when the wind velocity is greater than the predetermined wind velocity, transmitting a fourth signal to a transmission of the wind turbine, the fourth signal configured to engage the transmission such that an electrical generator of the wind turbine is powered by wind.

10. The method of claim 8, wherein when the wind velocity is less than the predetermined wind velocity, transmitting a fifth signal to a transmission, the fifth signal configured to engage the transmission such that an electrical generator of the wind turbine is powered by an air drive of the wind turbine.

11. The method of claim 8, when the wind velocity is greater than the predetermined wind velocity, transmitting a sixth signal to a switch, the sixth signal configured to actuate the switch such that an electrical generator of the wind turbine supplies electrical power to an electrical grid.

12. The method of claim 8, when the wind velocity is greater than the predetermined wind velocity, transmitting a seventh signal to a switch, the seventh signal configured to actuate the switch such that an electrical generator of the wind turbine supplies electrical power to an air compressor that is in fluid communication with the storage vessel.

13. The method of claim 8, when the wind velocity is greater than the predetermined wind velocity, transmitting an eighth signal to a switch, the eighth signal configured to actuate the switch such mat an electrical generator of the wind turbine supplies electrical power to an air compressor that is in fluid communication with the storage vessel and an electrical grid.

14. The method of claim 8, when the wind velocity is less man the predetermined wind velocity, transmitting a ninth signal to a switch, the ninth signal configured to actuate the switch such that an electrical generator of the wind turbine is electrically disconnected from an air compressor that is in fluid communication with the storage vessel and an electrical grid.

15. A system for controlling a wind turbine, the system comprising: a processor; and

a memory storing instructions that, when executed by the processor, cause the process to:

receive a first signal from an anemometer, the first signal including data indicative of a wind velocity,

determine the wind velocity based on the data received with the first signal,

when the wind velocity is less than a predetermined wind velocity, transmit a second signal to a valve, the second signal operative to actuate the valve such that compressed air is released from a storage vessel, and

when the wind velocity is greater than the predetermined wind velocity, transmit a third signal to the valve, the third signal operative to actuate the valve such that a flow of the compressed air from the storage vessel is halted.

16. The system of claim 15, wherein when the wind velocity is greater than the predetermined wind velocity, the instructions, when executed by the process, further cause the process to transmit a fourth signal to a transmission, the fourth signal configured to engage the transmission such that an electrical generator of the wind turbine is powered by wind.

17. The system of claim 15, wherein when the wind velocity is less than the predetermined wind velocity, the instructions, when executed by the process, further cause the process to transmit a fifth signal to a transmission, the fifth signal configured to engage the transmission such that an electrical generator of the wind turbine is powered by an air drive of the wind turbine.

18. The system of claim 15, wherein when the wind velocity is greater than the predetermined wind velocity, the instructions, when executed by the process, further cause the process to transmit a sixth signal to a switch, the sixth signal configured to actuate the switch such that an electrical generator of the wind turbine supplies electrical power to an electrical grid. 19. The system of claim 15, wherein when the wind velocity is greater than the predetermined wind velocity, the instructions, when executed by the process, further cause the process to transmit a seventh signal to a switch, the seventh signal configured to actuate the switch such that an electrical generator of the wind turbine supplies electrical power to an air compressor that is in fluid communication with the storage vessel.

20. The system of claim 15, wherein when the wind velocity is greater than the predetermined wind velocity, the instructions, when executed by the process, further cause the process to transmit an eighth signal to a switch, the eighth signal configured to actuate the switch such that an electrical generator of the wind turbine supplies electrical power to an air compressor that is in fluid communication with the storage vessel and an electrical grid.

21. The system of claim 15, wherein when the wind velocity is greater than the predetermined wind velocity, the instructions, when executed by the process, further cause the process to transmit a ninth signal to a switch, the ninth signal configured to actuate the switch such mat an electrical generator of the wind turbine is electrically disconnected from an air compressor that is in fluid communication with the storage vessel and an electrical grid.

Description:
COMPRESSED AIR DIRECT DRIVE TURBINE CLAIM OF PRIORITY

[0001] This patent application claims the benefit of priority to U.S. Provisional Application Serial Number 62/552,085, entitled "COMPRESSED AIR DIRECT DRIVE TURBINE," filed on August 30, 2017, (Attorney' Docket No. 4854.001PRV), which is hereby incorporated by reference herein in its entirety.

TECHNICAL FIELD

[0002] The present disclosure relates to systems and methods for generating electricity. Specifically, the systems and methods disclosed herein relate to systems and methods for generating electricity using compressed air and a wind turbine.

BACKGROUND

[0003] Electricity can be generated in a variety of fashions. Conventional methods for generating electricity include burning materials such as coal, natural gas, petroleum, and other fossil fuels. Burning of materials leads to the emission of potentially harmful gasses, such as carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen oxides. In addition, to the potentially harmful gasses released from burning materials, the gathering of the materials also has a potentially harmful impact on the environment. For example, drilling for oil and transporting it to refineries can lead to oil spills and disturbing natural habitats of wild and endangered species. As a result, alternative forms of electricity production are being explored.

SUMMARY

[0004] Disclosed herein are systems and methods for generating electrical power. The systems and methods can include a wind turbine, an air drive, and a storage vessel. The wind turbine may include a generator and be configured to generate electricity when confronted with a wind velocity mat exceeds a predetermined velocity. The air drive may be operativery coupled to the generator and configured to operate the generator when the wind velocity' is less than the predetermined wind velocity. The storage vessel may be in fluid communication with the air drive and configured to direct compressed air stored within the storage vessel to the air drive when the wind velocity is less than the predetermined wind velocity'.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0005] In the drawings, which are not necessarily drawn to scale, like numerals may describe similar components in different views. Like numerals having different letter suffixes may represent different instances of similar components. The drawings illustrate generally, by way of example, but not by way of limitation, various embodiments discussed in the present document

[0006] FIG. 1 illustrates a schematic of a system for generating wind energy in accordance with embodiments disclosed herein.

[0007] FIG. 2 illustrates a schematic of a system for generating wind energy in accordance with embodiments disclosed herein.

[0008] FIG. 3 illustrates a schematic of a system for generating wind energy in accordance with embodiments disclosed herein.

[0009] FIG. 4 illustrates a schematic of a wind turbine in accordance with embodiments disclosed herein.

[0010] FIG. S illustrates a schematic of a controller in accordance with embodiments disclosed herein.

[0011] FIG. 6 illustrates a method for generating wind energy' in accordance with embodiments disclosed herein.

[0012] FIG. 7 illustrates a wind farm in accordance with embodiments disclosed herein.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0013] One alternative to burning fossil fuels is using wind to generate electricity, sometimes referred to as wind power or wind energy. To generate electricity using wind, large wind turbines are typically placed in open areas, such as fields, where they can be arranged to utilize the wind to spin large airfoils, sometimes referred to as blades, which in turn spin an electric generator.

[0014] One problem with wind energy is that the wind is not constant. Stated another way, the wind does not always blow at a constant velocity. In addition, even when there is wind, there is no guarantee that the wind velocity will be high enough to spin the turbine blades. For example, if the wind velocity is below a predetermined value, e.g., 12 m/s, then the turbine blades may not spin fast enough or generate enough torque to spin the electric generator at a speed sufficient to generate electricity. For instance, a 12 m/s wind velocity may be needed for the turbine to spin the electric generator at 3,600 rpms, the speed necessary to generate 60 Hz alternating current used in the United States.

[0015] As disclosed herein, compressed air may be used in conjunction with an air drive coupled to the electric generator of the wind turbine to supplement the wind as well as drive the electric generator in zero wind conditions. For example, when the wind velocity is below the predetermined value, but greater than 0 m/s, compressed air may power the air drive, which in turn may supplement the wind velocity' such that the electric generator spins at 3,600 rpms. In conditions where the wind velocity is 0 m/s (a no wind condition), compressed air may power the air drive, which may spin the electric generator to produce electricity without any input from the turbine blades.

[0016] Turning now to FIG. 1, FIG. 1 shows a schematic of a system 100 for generating wind energy in accordance with embodiments disclosed herein. The system 100 may include a wind turbine 102, an air compressor 104, a storage vessel 106, a controller 110, an anemometer 112, and a switch 114. As shown in FIG. 1, the wind turbine 102 can be positioned such that a wind 116 is able to strike rotor blades 118 of the wind turbine 102. The wind may cause the rotor blades 118 to rotate, thereby generating electricity. As the rotor blades 118 rotate, the wind turbine 102 may generate electricity that is supplied to a power grid 120. The power grid 120 may be operated by a utility company that distributes electricity to the general public.

[0017] The velocity of the wind 116 may be measured by the anemometer 112. The anemometer 112 may be located on the wind turbine 102 or proximate the wind turbine 102. For example, the anemometer 112 may be located on a pole supporting the wind turbine 102, placed on the wind turbine 102, or otherwise located proximate the wind turbine 102 such that the velocity of the wind 116 impacting the rotor blades 118 can be measured.

[0018] The anemometer 112 may transmit a signal to the controller 110. The signal may include data that indicates the velocity of the wind 116. For example, the anemometer 112 may transmit a voltage to the controller 110. The controller 110 may include software as disclosed herein that may correlate the voltage to a wind velocity.

[0019] Depending upon the wind velocity the turbine 102 may be able to generate electricity. For example, a wind velocity of less man 1 m/s may not be enough to overcome the friction within the wind turbine 102 so that the rotor blades 118 rotate. When the wind velocity exceeds a predetermined velocity, the rotor blades 118 may spin with a high enough velocity and produce enough torque such mat an electric generator within the wind turbine 102 may generate a maximum electrical output. For example, when the wind velocity exceeds 12 m/s, the rotor blades 118 may spin a rotor of an electric generator at 3,600 rpms relative to a stator of the electric generator and with enough torque to produce 2.5 MW of electricity. At wind speeds above 12 m/s, the controller 110 may use brakes or other methods to control the speed of the rotor blades 118 or the rotor of the electric generator such that electricity having the appropriate frequency is generated. In other words, the controller 110 can throttle back the rotor blades 118 or the rotor of the electric generator so that high wind velocities do not cause electricity to be generated that has too high a frequency.

[0020] At a wind velocity' within a predetermined range the wind turbine 102 may be able to produce electricity', but not necessarily at the 60 Hz, or any other desired frequency, needed. For example, for a wind velocity between 1 m/s and 12 m/s the rotor blades 118 may not spin at a fast enough rate to spin the rotor of the electric generate within the wind turbine 102 at 3,600 rpms or with enough torque to produce 2.5 MW of electricity at 60 Hz. To supplement the wind 116, compressed air can be release from the storage vessel 106. The compressed air can drive an air drive as disclosed here such that the rotor of the electric generator within the wind turbine 102 is able to spin fast enough and with enough torque to generate 2.5 MW of electricity at 60 Hz.

[0021] The controller 110 may be electrically coupled to the wind turbine 102, the storage vessel 106, and the air compressor 104. The controller 110 can monitor the electrical output of the wind turbine 102. For example, the controller 1 10 can receive a signal that includes data the controller 110 can interpret as the electrical output of the wind turbine 102. By monitoring the electrical output of the wind turbine 102, the controller 110 may determine that the wind turbine 102 is capable of producing a desired amount of electrical energy solely by use of the wind 116 or that the wind 116 may need to be supplemented with compressed air and the air drive.

[0022] When the wind velocity is below the predetermined wind velocity (e.g., 12 m/s), the controller 110 can actuate a valve 108 to release compressed air from the storage vessel 106. As disclosed herein, the compressed air can drive an air drive of the wind turbine 102. The air drive may provide an additional input that may allow the rotor of the electric generator located within the wind turbine 102 to spin at an appropriate speed to generate electricity. The valve 108 may be an adjustable valve such that the flow of compressed air from the storage vessel 106 can be regulated. For example, if the velocity of the wind 116 is 10 m/s then the valve 108 may partially open. If the velocity of the wind 116 is below 2 m/s then the valve 108 may fully open. Stated another way, based on the velocity of the wind 116, the controller 110 can actuate the valve 108 so as to throttle the amount of compressed air supplied to the air drive within the wind turbine 102 to achieve a desired electrical output by the electric generate in the wind turbine 102. By throttling the compressed air exiting the storage vessel 106, the controller 110 can both regulate the electricity generated by the wind turbine 102 as well as conserve compressed air.

[0023] The amount of compressed air stored in the storage vessel 106 may be of sufficient supply to drive the air drive of the wind turbine 102 for a predetermined time. For example, the volume of air stored in the storage vessel 106 may be sufficient to drive the air drive for 24, 48, 72, 96, or more hours at full power. Stated another way, when the velocity' of the wind 1 16 is 0 m/s, the compressed air within the storage vessel 106 may be able to operate the air drive such that the wind turbine 102 is able to produce a given amount of electricity (e.g., 2.5 MW) for 24, 48, 72, 96, or more hours. In conditions where the compressed air is supplementing the wind 116, this time may be extended because the compressed air is not the only input source.

[0024] The controller 110 can be electrically coupled to the storage vessel 106 via sensors, transducers, and the like such that the controller 110 can monitor the temperature, pressure, and amount of air within the storage vessel 106. For example, the pressure within the storage vessel 106 may fluctuate due to temperature variations as governed by the Idea Gas Law. To avoid excess pressure within the storage vessel 106, the controller 110 may actuate one or more safety valves (not shown) to relieve pressure within the storage vessel 106. In addition, using the temperature and pressure, the controller 110 can calculate the amount of air within the storage vessel 106 using the Ideal Gas Law.

[0025] The amount of air to be stored in the storage vessel 106 can be controlled by the air compressor 104. For example, if the pressure or amount of air stored in the storage vessel 106 drops below a preset level, the controller 110 can transmit a signal to the switch 114. The signal may close the switch 114 and allow the air compressor 104 to be powered by the power grid 120. The air compressor 104 can be used to increase the pressure or amount of air within the storage vessel 106. For example, if the ambient temperature around the storage vessel drops significantly, the temperature, and thus pressure, of the air within the storage vessel 106 may also drop. To increase the pressure, the air compressor 104 may be activated by the controller 110.

[0026] When the air compressor 104 is activated, the valve 108 may be closes such that air is not escaping the storage vessel 106 and suppling power to the air drive. In addition, if the outflow of compressed air from the storage vessel is less than the capacity of the air compressor 104, then the valve 108 may be partially or completely opened. For example, if the valve is opened such that the flow rate of compressed air out of the storage vessel 106 is 5 cubic feet per second and the air compressor can supply air to the storage vessel 106 at 10 cubic feet per second, then the air compressor 104 may be operated while the storage vessel 106 supplies compressed air to the air drive. If the valve is opened such mat the flow rate of compressed air out of the storage vessel 106 is 10 cubic feet per second and the air compressor can supply air to the storage vessel 106 at 5 cubic feet per second, then the air compressor 104 may not be operated while the storage vessel 106 supplies compressed air to the air drive. Stated another way, when the storage vessel is supplying compressed air at a greater rate than the air compressor can restore it, the valve 108 is closed.

[0027] The system 100 shown in FIG. 1 can allow for the wind 116 to be supplemented or replaced by compressed air and the air drive as disclosed herein. The advantage of the system is that the wind turbine 102 may be located in an area that is consistently windy that thus, the wind turbine 102 may generate electricity for multiple days without the need for supplementation by the compressed air within the storage vessel 106. In other words, the wind turbine 102 can generate more electricity than the air compressor 104 uses if the wind turbine 102 is located in a generally windy area. For example, during windy times, the wind turbine 102 may generate 2.5 MW/h of electricity while it may only require 25 kW/h to power the air compressor 104. As a result, as long as there are consistently more days of sufficient wind, then the power output of the wind turbine 102 exceeds the power draw by the air compressor 104 to refill the storage vessel 106.

[0028] Turning now to FIG. 2, FIG. 2 shows a schematic of a system 200 for generating wind energy in accordance with embodiments disclosed herein. The system 200 may include a wind turbine 202, an air compressor 204, a storage vessel 206, a controller 210, an anemometer 212, and a switch 114. As shown in FIG. 2, the wind turbine 202 can be positioned such that a wind 216 is able to strike rotor blades 218 of the wind turbine 202. The wind may cause the rotor blades 218 to rotate, thereby generating electricity . As the rotor blades 218 rotate, the wind turbine 202 may generate electricity that is supplied to a power grid 220. The power grid 220 may be operated by a utility company that distributes electricity to the general public.

[0029] The velocity of the wind 216 may be measured by the anemometer 212. The anemometer 212 may be located on the wind turbine 202 or proximate the wind turbine 202. For example, the anemometer 212 may be located on a pole supporting the wind turbine 202, placed on the wind turbine 202, or otherwise located proximate the wind turbine 202 such that the velocity of the wind 216 impacting the rotor blades 218 can be measured.

[0030] The anemometer 212 may transmit a signal to the controller 210. The signal may include data that indicates the velocity of the wind 216. For example, the anemometer 212 may transmit a voltage to the controller 210. The controller 210 may include software as disclosed herein that may correlate the voltage to a wind velocity.

[0031] Depending upon the wind velocity the turbine 202 may be able to generate electricity. For example, a wind velocity of less than 1 m/s may not be enough to overcome the friction within the wind turbine 202 so that the rotor blades 218 rotate. When the wind velocity exceeds a predetermined velocity, the rotor blades 218 may spin with a high enough velocity and produce enough torque such that an electric generator within the wind turbine 202 may generate a maximum electrical output. For example, when the wind velocity exceeds 12 m/s. the rotor blades 218 may spin a rotor of an electric generator at 3,600 rpms relative to a stator of the electric generator and with enough torque to produce 2.5 MW of electricity. At wind speeds above 12 m/s, the controller 210 may use brakes or other methods to control the speed of the rotor blades 218 or the rotor of the electric generator such that electricity having the appropriate frequency is generated. In other words, the controller 210 can throttle back the rotor blades 218 or the rotor of the electric generator so that high wind velocities do not cause electricity to be generated that has too high a frequency.

[0032] At a wind velocity within a predetermined range the wind turbine 202 may be able to produce electricity, but not necessarily at the 60 Hz, or any other desired frequency, needed. For example, for a wind velocity between 1 m/s and 12 m/s the rotor blades 218 may not spin fast enough to spin the rotor of the electric generate within the wind turbine 202 at 3,600 rpms or with enough torque to produce 2.5 MW of electricity at 60 Hz. To supplement the wind 216, compressed air can be release from the storage vessel 206. The compressed air can drive an air drive as disclosed here such that the rotor of the electric generator within the wind turbine 202 is able to spin fast enough and with enough torque to generate 2.5 MW of electricity at 60 Hz.

[0033] The controller 210 may be electrically coupled to the wind turbine 202, the storage vessel 206, and the air compressor 204. The controller 210 can monitor the electrical output of the wind turbine 202. For example, the controller 210 can receive a signal that includes data the controller 210 can interpret as the electrical output of the wind turbine 202. By monitoring the electrical output of the wind turbine 202, the controller 210 may determine mat the wind turbine 202 is capable of producing a desired amount of electrical energy solely by use of the wind 216 or that the wind 216 may need to be supplemented with compressed air and the air drive.

[0034] When the wind velocity is below the predetermined wind velocity (e.g., 12 m/s), the controller 210 can actuate a valve 208 to release compressed air from the storage vessel 206. As disclosed herein, the compressed air can drive an air drive of the wind turbine 202. The air drive may provide an additional input mat may allow the rotor of the electric generator located within the wind turbine 202 to spin at an appropriate speed to generate electricity. The valve 208 may be an adjustable valve such that the flow of compressed air from the storage vessel 206 can be regulated. For example, if the velocity of the wind 216 is 10 m/s then the valve 208 may partially open. If the velocity of the wind 216 is below 2 m/s then the valve 208 may fully open. Stated another way, based on the velocity of the wind 216, the controller 210 can actuate the valve 208 to throttle the amount of compressed air supplied to the air drive within the wind turbine 202 to achieve a desired electrical output by the electric generate in the wind turbine 202. By throttling the compressed air exiting the storage vessel 206, the controller 210 can both regulate the electricity generated by the wind turbine 202 as well as conserve compressed air.

[0035] The amount of compressed air stored in the storage vessel 206 may be of sufficient supply to drive the air drive of the wind turbine 202 for a predetermined time. For example, the volume of air stored in the storage vessel 206 may be sufficient to drive the air drive for 24, 48, 72, 96, or more hours at full power. Stated another way, when the velocity of the wind 216 is 0 m/s, the compressed air within the storage vessel 206 may be able to operate the air drive such that the wind turbine 202 is able to produce a given amount of electricity (e.g., 2.5 MW) for 24, 48, 72, 96, or more hours. In conditions where the compressed air is supplementing the wind 216, this time may be extended because the compressed air is not the only input source.

[0036] The controller 210 can be electrically coupled to me storage vessel 206 via sensors, transducers, and the like such that the controller 210 can monitor the temperature, pressure, and amount of air within the storage vessel 206. For example, the pressure within the storage vessel 206 may fluctuate due to temperature variations as governed by the Idea Gas Law. To avoid excess pressure within the storage vessel 206, the controller 210 may actuate one or more safety valves (not shown) to relieve pressure within the storage vessel 206. In addition, using the temperature and pressure, the controller 210 can calculate the amount of air within the storage vessel 206 using the Ideal Gas Law.

[0037] The amount of air to be stored in the storage vessel 206 can be controlled by the air compressor 204. For example, if the pressure or amount of air stored in the storage vessel 206 drops below a preset level, the controller 210 can transmit a signal to the switch 214. The signal may actuate the switch 214 and allow the air compressor 204 to be powered by the wind turbine 202 and simultaneously disconnecting the wind turbine 202 from the power grid 220. [0038] As shown in FIG. 2, the wind turbine 202 can provide electricity to the power grid 220 or the air compressor 204, but not both simultaneously. Thus, after a period of low wind velocity, the wind turbine 202 may power the air compressor 204 to refill the storage vessel 206 before supplying electricity to the power grid. Once the storage vessel 206 is refilled, the controller 210 may actuate the switch 214 such that the wind turbine 202 supplies electricity to the power grid 220. Since the wind turbine 202 can only supply electricity to the power grid 220 or the air compressor 204, when the air compressor 204 is activated, the valve 208 closes so that air is not escaping the storage vessel 206.

[0039] The controller 210 can utilize multiple factors to determine when the wind turbine 202 will supply electricity to the power grid 220 or to the air compressor 204. For example, if the amount is air stored in the storage vessel is above a preset minimum (e.g., 80% compacity), then the controller 210 may actuate the switch 214 so that the wind turbine 202 supplies electricity to the power grid 220 instead of the air compressor 204. In addition, the controller 210 may utilize electricity rates to determine when to power the air compressor 204 or supply power to the power grid 220. For example, if electricity rates are above a certain value, men the controller 210 may actuate the switch 214 so that the wind turbine 202 supplies power to the power grid 220 to take advantage of the favorable electricity rates instead of powering the air compressor 204.

[0040] As detailed above with respect to FIG. 1, the air compressor 204 can be used to increase the pressure or amount of air within the storage vessel 206. For example, if the ambient temperature around the storage vessel drops significantly, the temperature, and thus pressure, of the air within the storage vessel 206 may also drop. To increase the pressure, the air compressor 204 may be activated by the controller 204 via switch 214.

[0041] The system 200 shown in FIG. 2 can allow for the wind 216 to be supplemented or replaced by compressed air and the air drive as disclosed herein. The advantage of the system is that the wind turbine 202 may be located in an area that is consistently windy that thus, the wind turbine 202 may generate electricity for multiple days without the need for supplementation by the compressed air within the storage vessel 206. In other words, the wind turbine 202 can generate more electricity than the air compressor 204 uses if the wind turbine 202 is located in a generally windy area. For example, during windy times, the wind turbine 202 may generate 2.5 MW/h of electricity while it may only require 25 kW/h to power the air compressor 204. As a result, as long as there are consistently more days of sufficient wind, then the power output of the wind turbine 202 exceeds the power draw by the air compressor 204 to refill the storage vessel 206. Also, because the air compressor 204 requires lower energy consumption than the wind turbine 202 is able to output, the wind turbine can be used to power the air compressor alone on days with less wind. For example, because the air compressor only requires, for example, 25 kW/h of power and the wind turbine 202 is able to generate 2.5 MW/h of power at a given wind velocity (e.g., 12 m/s), then the wind turbine 202 may be able to power only the air compressor 204 at a lower wind velocity. For instance, at a wind velocity of 4 m/s, the wind turbine 202 may be able to produce in excess of 25 kW/h of power. Thus, during times of low wind when the storage vessel 206 is empty or unable to supply air to supplement the wind 216, the wind 216 may be sufficient to allow the wind turbine 202 to power the air compressor 204 and refill the storage vessel 206.

[0042] Turning now to FIG. 3, FIG. 3 shows a schematic of a system 300 for generating wind energy in accordance with embodiments disclosed herein. The system 300 may include a wind turbine 302, an air compressor 304, a storage vessel 306, a controller 310, an anemometer 312, and a switch 314. As shown in FIG. 3, the wind turbine 302 can be positioned such that a wind 316 is able to strike rotor blades 318 of the wind turbine 302. The wind may cause the rotor blades 318 to rotate, thereby generating electricity. As the rotor blades 318 rotate, the wind turbine 302 may generate electricity that is supplied to a power grid 320. The power grid 320 may be operated by a utility company that distributes electricity to the general public.

[0043] The velocity of the wind 316 may be measured by the anemometer 312. The anemometer 312 may be located on the wind turbine 302 or proximate the wind turbine 302. For example, the anemometer 312 may be located on a pole supporting the wind turbine 302, placed on the wind turbine 302, or otherwise located proximate the wind turbine 302 such that the velocity of the wind 316 impacting the rotor blades 318 can be measured.

[0044] The anemometer 312 may transmit a signal to the controller 310. The signal may include data that indicates the velocity of the wind 316. For example, the anemometer 312 may transmit a voltage to the controller 310. The controller 310 may include software as disclosed herein that may correlate the voltage to a wind velocity.

[0045] Depending upon the wind velocity the turbine 302 may be able to generate electricity. For example, a wind velocity of less man 1 m/s may not be enough to overcome the friction within the wind turbine 302 so that the rotor blades 318 rotate. When the wind velocity exceeds a predetermined velocity, the rotor blades 318 may spin with a high enough velocity and produce enough torque such mat an electric generator within the wind turbine 302 may generate a maximum electrical output. For example, when the wind velocity exceeds 12 m/s, the rotor blades 318 may spin a rotor of an electric generator at 3,600 rpms relative to a stator of the electric generator and with enough torque to produce 2.5 MW of electricity. At wind speeds above 12 m/s, the controller 310 may use brakes or other methods to control the speed of the rotor blades 318 or the rotor of the electric generator such that electricity having the appropriate frequency is generated. In other words, the controller 310 can throttle back the rotor blades 318 or the rotor of the electric generator so that high wind velocities do not cause electricity to be generated that has too high a frequency.

[0046] At a wind velocity' within a predetermined range the wind turbine 302 may be able to produce electricity', but not necessarily at the 60 Hz, or any other desired frequency, needed. For example, for a wind velocity between 1 m/s and 12 m/s the rotor blades 318 may not spin fast enough to spin the rotor of the electric generate within the wind turbine 302 at 3,600 rpms or with enough torque to produce 2.5 MW of electricity at 60 Hz. To supplement the wind 316, compressed air can be release from the storage vessel 306. The compressed air can drive an air drive as disclosed here such that the rotor of the electric generator within the wind turbine 302 is able to spin fast enough and with enough torque to generate 2.5 MW of electricity at 60 Hz.

[0047] The controller 310 may be electrically coupled to the wind turbine 302, the storage vessel 306, and the air compressor 304. The controller 310 can monitor the electrical output of the wind turbine 302. For example, the controller 310 can receive a signal that includes data the controller 310 can interpret as the electrical output of the wind turbine 302. By monitoring the electrical output of the wind turbine 302, the controller 310 may determine that the wind turbine 302 is capable of producing a desired amount of electrical energy solely by use of the wind 316 or that the wind 316 may need to be supplemented with compressed air and the air drive.

[0048] When the wind velocity is below the predetermined wind velocity (e.g., 12 m/s), the controller 310 can actuate a valve 308 to release compressed air from the storage vessel 306. As disclosed herein, the compressed air can drive an air drive of the wind turbine 302. The air drive may provide an additional input that may allow the rotor of the electric generator located within the wind turbine 302 to spin at an appropriate speed to generate electricity. The valve 308 may be an adjustable valve such that the flow of compressed air from the storage vessel 306 can be regulated. For example, if the velocity of the wind 316 is 10 m/s then the valve 308 may partially open. If the velocity of the wind 316 is below 2 m/s then the valve 308 may fully open. Stated another way, based on the velocity of the wind 316, the controller 310 can actuate the valve 308 to throttle the amount of compressed air supplied to the air drive within the wind turbine 302 to achieve a desired electrical output by the electric generate in the wind turbine 302. By throttling the compressed air exiting the storage vessel 306, the controller 310 can both regulate the electricity generated by the wind turbine 302 as well as conserve compressed air.

[0049] The amount of compressed air stored in the storage vessel 306 may be of sufficient supply to drive the air drive of the wind turbine 302 for a predetermined time. For example, the volume of air stored in the storage vessel 306 may be sufficient to drive the air drive for 24, 48, 72, 96, or more hours at full power. Stated another way, when the velocity' of the wind 316 is 0 m/s, the compressed air within the storage vessel 306 may be able to operate the air drive such that the wind turbine 302 is able to produce a given amount of electricity (e.g., 2.5 MW) for 24, 48, 72, 96, or more hours. In conditions where the compressed air is supplementing the wind 316, this time may be extended because the compressed air is not the only input source.

[0050] The controller 310 can be electrically coupled to the storage vessel 306 via sensors, transducers, and the like such that the controller 310 can monitor the temperature, pressure, and amount of air within the storage vessel 306. For example, the pressure within the storage vessel 306 may fluctuate due to temperature variations as governed by the Idea Gas Law. To avoid excess pressure within the storage vessel 306, the controller 310 may actuate one or more safety valves (not shown) to relieve pressure within the storage vessel 306. In addition, using the temperature and pressure, the controller 310 can calculate the amount of air within the storage vessel 306 using the Ideal Gas Law.

[0051] The amount of air to be stored in the storage vessel 306 can be controlled by the air compressor 304. For example, if the pressure or amount of air stored in the storage vessel 306 drops below a preset level, the controller 310 can transmit a signal to the switch 314. The switch 314 may allow the wind turbine 302 to supply electricity to the air compressor 304, the power grid 320, or both simultaneously.

[0052] For example, the velocity of the wind 316 may be enough to only power the air compressor 304. Thus, the controller 310 may transmit a signal to the switch to close the circuit between the wind turbine 302 and the air compressor 304 while opening a circuit between the wind turbine 302 and the power grid 320 thus allowing the wind turbine 302 to power only the air compressor 304. If the wind velocity' is above a preset value and the amount of air in the storage vessel 306 exceeds a preset amount, the controller 310 may transmit a signal to the switch to open the circuit between the wind turbine 302 and the air compressor 304 while closing a circuit between the wind turbine 302 and the power grid 320, thus allowing all of the electricity generated by the wind turbine 302 to be supplied to the power grid. If the velocity of the wind 316 is above a predetermined value (e.g., 12 m/s) and the amount of air is below a preset amount, the controller 310 may transmit a signal to the switch to close the circuit between the wind turbine 302 and the air compressor 304 and the power grid 320 thus allowing the wind turbine to supply power to the power grid 320 and the air compressor simultaneously.

[0053] As shown in FIG. 3, the wind turbine 302 can provide electricity to the power grid 320, the air compressor 304, or bom simultaneously. Thus, after a period of low wind velocity, the wind turbine 302 may power the air compressor 304 to refill the storage vessel 306 before supplying electricity to the power grid or while supplying power to the power grid 320. Once the storage vessel 306 is refilled, the controller 310 may actuate the switch 314 such that the wind turbine 302 only supplies electricity to the power grid 320. When the wind turbine 302 is only supplying electricity to the air compressor 304, the valve 308 closes so that air is not escaping the storage vessel 306. [0054] The controller 310 can utilize multiple factors to determine when the wind turbine 302 will supply electricity to the power grid 320 and to the air compressor 304 simultaneously. For example, if the amount is air stored in the storage vessel is above a preset minimum (e.g., 80% compacity), then the controller 310 may actuate the switch 314 so that the wind turbine 302 supplies electricity to only the power grid 320. In addition, the controller 310 may utilize electricity rates to determine when to supply power to both the air compressor 304 and the power grid 320. For example, if electricity rates are above a certain value, then the controller 310 may actuate the switch 314 so that the wind turbine 302 supplies power to only the power grid 320 to take advantage of the favorable electricity rates instead of powering the air compressor 304. The air compressor 304 can later be activated to refill the storage vessel 306.

[0055] In the event mat there is an extended period of time where the velocity is the wind 316 is below preset value such that the wind turbine 302 cannot power the air compressor 304, the controller 310 can active the switch 314 such that a circuit from the air compressor 304 and the power grid 320 is closed while a circuit from the wind turbine 302 to the power grid 30 is open. This arrangement would cause the air compressor 304 to operate in a manner as described above with respect to FIG. 1 so as to refill the storage vessel 306.

[0056] Turning now to FIG. 4, FIG 4 illustrates a wind turbine 400 in accordance with embodiments disclosed herein. The wind turbine 400 can be any wind turbine such as wind turbine 102, 202, and 302 as disclosed herein. The wind turbine 400 may include an electric generator 402, an air drive 404, a gearbox 406, and a transmission 408. The electric generator 402 can include a rotor and stator used to generate electricity as known in the art. As disclosed herein, rotational energy can be supplied to the electric generator 402 via the wind, the air drive 404, or both. As disclosed herein, the air drive 404 can receive compressed air from a storage vessel and the air drive 404 can rotate a shaft. The shaft 410 can rotate a gear 412 within the gear box 406, which in turn can rotate a gear 414 connected to an input shaft 416 of the electric generator 402.

[0057] The rotor blades of the wind turbine 400 can also be connected to the transmission 408 via a shaft 418, which in turn can be connected to a gear 420 via a shaft 422. Thus, as the rotor blades turn, the gear 420 can turn the gear 414 to spin the electric generator 402. The transmission 408 can allow the rotor blades to spin a less than 3,600 rpms while allowing the transmission 408 to spin the gear 414 and the input shaft 416 at 3,600 rpms. The transmission 408 may also include a neutral setting such that the rotor blades are disconnected from the electric generator 402. By disconnecting the rotor blades from the electric generator 402, when the air drive 404 is supplying rotational energy' to the electric generator during low or zero wind conditions, the air drive 404 does not have to also rotate the rotor blades to generate electricity. The disconnect or neutral setting can also be in the gearbox 406. During times when the wind velocity is sufficient to spin the rotor blades, but not sufficient to spin the electric generator 402 at 3,600 rpms, both the air drive 404 and the rotor blades can be connected to the electric generator 402 such that the electric generator 402 produces 60 Hz electricity.

[0058] Turning now to FIG. 5, FIG. 5 illustrates an example schematic of a controller 500. As shown in FIG. 5, the controller 500 may include a processor 502 and a memory unit 504. The memory unit 504 may include a software module 506 and wind and power data 508. While executing on the processor 502, the software module 504 may perform processes for controlling a wind turbine, including, for example, one or more stages included in method 600 described below with respect to FIG. 6.

[0059] The wind and power data 508 may include, but is not limited to, information about power rates, wind velocities need to generate a given amount of electricity, preset values for wind velocities, a minimum amount of air to be stored in storage vessels, pressure limits, etc. For example, the wind and power data 508 may include data that indicates that when the wind velocity is about a preset value (e.g., 12 m/s) the air drive is not needed and the wind turbine can generate electricity by itself. The wind and power data 508 may also include data that indicates when the wind velocity is below the preset value the air drive is to be use drive the electric generator and the rotor blades are to be disconnected from the electric generator such that only the air drive is supplying rotational energy to the electric generator. The wind and power data 508 may also include data that indicates that when the wind velocity is below the present value the air drive can supplement the rotational energy provided by the rotor blades as disclosed herein.

[0060] The wind and power data 508 also may include information used to control the switches disclosed herein. For example, the wind and power data 508 may include information that is used to determine which circuits to open and closed depending on the wind velocity, the amount of air in the storage vessel, etc.

[0061] The controller 500 may also include a user interface 510. The user interface 510 can include any number of devices that allow a user to interface with the controller 500. Non-limiting examples of the user interface 510 include a keypad, a microphone, a display (touchscreen or otherwise), etc.

[0062] The controller 500 may also include a communications port 512. The communications port 512 may allow the controller 500 to communicate with the various components of the wind turbine, as well as the storage vessels, air compressors, switches, etc. as disclosed herein. In addition, the communications port 512 can allow the controller 500 to communicate with offsite computing systems such as servers and other computing systems operated by the owner of the wind turbine, utility companies, etc. Non-limiting examples of the communications port 512 include, Ethernet cards (wireless or wired), BLUETOOTH® transmitters and receivers, near-field communications modules, cellular modules, satellite communication modules, etc.

[0063] The controller 500 may also include an input/output (I/O) device 514. The I/O device 514 may allow the controller 500 to receive and output information. For example, the I/O device 514 may be used to allow the controller to receive information from the anemometer and other sensors that communicate with the controller 500 via means other than the communications port 512. Non- limiting examples of the I/O device 318 include, temperature sensors, pressure sensors, voltage and current sensors, anemometers, a camera (still or video), a printer, a scanner, etc.

[0064] The controller 500 may be implemented using a personal computer, a network computer, a mainframe, a handheld device, a personal digital assistant, a smartphone, a programmable logic controller (PLC), or any other similar microcomputer-based workstation. The controller 500 may be located in close proximity to the wind turbine as described herein. The controller 500 may also be remote from the wind turbine as described herein. For instance, the controller 500 can be a PLC located in the wind turbine. The controller 500 could also be a server located at a central control facility (onOsite or off-site) for a wind farm

[0065] FIG. 6 illustrates an example method 600 for controlling a wind turbine to generate electricity. The method 600 may begin at stage 602 where the controller may receive wind data The wind data may include information sufficient for the controller to determine the wind velocity. For example, the controller may receive the wind velocity directly from the anemometer or the controller may receive a voltage, resistance, current, etc. that can be converted into a wind velocity.

[0066] From stage 602, the method 600 may proceed to stage 604 where the wind velocity is determined. Again, the anemometer may calculate the wind velocity and transmit a numerical value (e.g., 12) to the controller that represents the wind velocity. In mis instance stage 604 may occur before stage 602. In addition, the anemometer may transmit a voltage (e.g., 1.5 volts) to the controller and the controller may correlate the voltage to a wind velocity of 12 m/s.

[0067] From stage 604, the method 600 may proceed to decision block 606 when it is determined if the wind velocity is greater than a predetermined wind velocity. If the wind velocity is not greater than the predetermined wind velocity, the method 600 may proceed to stage 608 where compressed air is released from a storage vessel. For example, as disclosed herein, if the wind velocity is less than the predetermined wind velocity, the controller may transmit a signal to a valve which causes the valve to open and release compressed air from a storage vessel to drive an air drive.

[0068] If the wind velocity is greater than the predetermine men the method 600 may proceed to stage 610 where the flow of compressed air can be halted. For example, if the wind velocity was previously less than the predetermined value and the compressed air is being used then the controller can transmit a signal to the valve to halt the flow of compressed air.

[0069] The various stages and decisions of the method 600 can be repeated or performed independently of one another. For example, if compressed air is not flowing to the air drive and the wind velocity is greater than the predetermined wind velocity, then the method 600 may proceed from decision block 606 to stage 202 where the method 600 may begin again.

[0070] FIG. 7 illustrates an example wind farm 700 in accordance with embodiments disclosed herein. The wind farm 700 may include a plurality of wind turbines 702A through 702N (collectively wind turbines 702). Each of the wind turbines 702 may be coupled to a storage vessel 704A through 704N (collectively storage vessels 704). Each of the wind turbines 702 may be the same or different. For example, each of the wind turbines 702 may be configured to generate the same electrical output for a given wind speed or the various wind turbines 702 may generate various electrical outputs for a given wind speed.

[0071] As disclosed herein, the storage vessels 704 may be used to provide compressed air to the wind turbines 702. In addition, an air compressor 706 may be used to replenish the storage vessels 704. As disclosed above, the air compressor 706 may be electrically power. In addition, the air compressor 706 may be diesel powered. For example, the air compressor 706 may be a portable diesel powered air compressor and may be transported to a respective wind turbine (e.g. wind turbine 702A) when a corresponding storage vessel (e.g., storage vessel 704A) is low on air.

[0072] In addition, to being portable, the air compressor 706 may be connected to more than one wind turbine at a time. For example, as shown in FIG. 7, the air compressor 706 may be connected to wind turbines 702A and 702N. As such, the air compressor 706 can replenish storage vessels 704 A and 704N simultaneously. Furthermore, one or more valves 708A and 708B (collectively valves 708) can be used to regulate the flow of compressed air to the storage vessels 704. For example, the storage vessel 704A may contain more air than storage vessel 704N. As a result, the valve 708 A can be closed such that the air compressor 706 supplies air to the storage vessel 708N. Once the storage vessel 708N is full, men the valve 708A can be opened and the valve 708N can be closed so that the storage vessel 708A can be filled.

Additional Notes & Examples:

[0073] Example 1 is a power generation system comprising: a wind turbine including a generator, the wind turbine configured to generate electricity when confronted with a wind velocity that exceeds a predetermined velocity; an air drive operatively coupled to the generator and configured to operate the generator when the wind velocity is less than the predetermined wind velocity; and a storage vessel in fluid communication with the air drive and configured to direct compressed air stored within the storage vessel to the air drive when the wind velocity is less than the predetermined wind velocity. [0074] In Example 2, the subject matter of Example 1 optionally includes an air compressor in fluid communication with the storage vessel and configured to fill the storage vessel with compressed air.

[0075] In Example 3, the subject matter of Example 2 optionally includes wherein the air compressor is electrically coupled to the generator.

[0076] In Example 4, the subject matter of any one or more of Examples 2-3 optionally include wherein the air compressor is electrically coupled to a power grid.

[0077] In Example 5, the subject matter of any one or more of Examples 2-4 optionally include wherein the air compressor is selectively electrically coupled to the generator and a power grid.

[0078] In Example 6, the subject matter of any one or more of Examples 1-5 optionally include a control unit configured to transmit a signal to a valve located between the storage vessel and the air drive, the signal configured to actuate the valve, wherein actuation of the valve causes the compressed air to exit the storage vessel and drive the air drive.

[0079] In Example 7, the subject matter of any one or more of Examples 1-6 optionally include a control unit configured to receive a signal from an anemometer located proximate the wind turbine, the signal included data indicative of the wind velocity.

[0080] Example 8 is a method for controlling a wind turbine, the method comprising: receiving, at a computing device, a first signal including data indicative of a wind velocity' proximate the wind turbine, the first signal received from an anemometer located proximate the wind turbine; determining, by the computing device, the wind velocity; when the wind velocity is less than a predetermined wind velocity, transmit a second signal to a valve, the second signal operative to actuate the valve such that compressed air is released from a storage vessel; and when the wind velocity is greater than the predetermined wind velocity, transmit a third signal to the valve, the third signal operative to actuate the valve such that a flow of the compressed air from the storage vessel is halted.

[0081] In Example 9, the subject matter of Example 8 optionally includes wherein when the wind velocity is greater than the predetermined wind velocity, transmitting a fourth signal to a transmission of the wind turbine, the fourth signal configured to engage the transmission such that an electrical generator of the wind turbine is powered by wind.

[0082] In Example 10, the subject matter of any one or more of Examples 8-9 optionally include wherein when the wind velocity is less than the predetermined wind velocity, transmitting a fifth signal to a transmission, the fifth signal configured to engage the transmission such that an electrical generator of the wind turbine is powered by an air drive of the wind turbine.

[0083] In Example 11, the subject matter of any one or more of Examples 8-10 optionally include when the wind velocity is greater than the predetermined wind velocity, transmitting a sixth signal to a switch, the sixth signal configured to actuate the switch such that an electrical generator of the wind turbine supplies electrical power to an electrical grid.

[0084] In Example 12, the subject matter of any one or more of Examples 8-11 optionally include when the wind velocity is greater than the predetermined wind velocity, transmitting a seventh signal to a switch, the seventh signal configured to actuate the switch such that an electrical generator of the wind turbine supplies electrical power to an air compressor that is in fluid communication with the storage vessel.

[0085] In Example 13, the subject matter of any one or more of Examples 8-12 optionally include when the wind velocity is greater than the predetermined wind velocity, transmitting an eighth signal to a switch, the eighth signal configured to actuate the switch such that an electrical generator of the wind turbine supplies electrical power to an air compressor that is in fluid communication with the storage vessel and an electrical grid.

[0086] In Example 14, the subject matter of any one or more of Examples 8-13 optionally include when the wind velocity is less than the predetermined wind velocity, transmitting a ninth signal to a switch, the ninth signal configured to actuate the switch such that an electrical generator of the wind turbine is electrically disconnected from an air compressor that is in fluid communication with the storage vessel and an electrical grid.

[0087] Example 15 is a system for controlling a wind turbine, the system comprising: a processor; and a memory storing instructions that, when executed by the processor, cause the process to: receive a first signal from an anemometer, the first signal including data indicative of a wind velocity, determine the wind velocity based on the data received with the first signal, when the wind velocity is less than a predetermined wind velocity, transmit a second signal to a valve, the second signal operative to actuate the valve such that compressed air is released from a storage vessel, and when the wind velocity is greater than the predetermined wind velocity', transmit a third signal to the valve, the third signal operative to actuate the valve such that a flow of the compressed air from the storage vessel is halted.

[0088] In Example 16, the subject matter of Example 15 optionally includes wherein when the wind velocity' is greater than the predetermined wind velocity, the instructions, when executed by the process, further cause the process to transmit a fourth signal to a transmission, the fourth signal configured to engage the transmission such that an electrical generator of the wind turbine is powered by wind.

[0089] In Example 17, the subject matter of any one or more of Examples 15- 16 optionally include wherein when the wind velocity is less than the predetermined wind velocity, the instructions, when executed by the process, further cause the process to transmit a fifth signal to a transmission, the fifth signal configured to engage the transmission such that an electrical generator of the wind turbine is powered by an air drive of the wind turbine.

[0090] In Example 18, the subject matter of any one or more of Examples 15-

17 optionally include wherein when the wind velocity is greater than the predetermined wind velocity, the instructions, when executed by the process, further cause the process to transmit a sixth signal to a switch, the sixth signal configured to actuate the switch such that an electrical generator of the wind turbine supplies electrical power to an electrical grid.

[0091] In Example 19, the subject matter of any one or more of Examples 15-

18 optionally include wherein when the wind velocity is greater than the predetermined wind velocity, the instructions, when executed by the process, further cause the process to transmit a seventh signal to a switch, the seventh signal configured to actuate the switch such that an electrical generator of the wind turbine supplies electrical power to an air compressor that is in fluid communication with the storage vessel.

[0092] In Example 20, the subject matter of any one or more of Examples 15-

19 optionally include wherein when the wind velocity is greater than the predetermined wind velocity, the instructions, when executed by the process, further cause the process to transmit an eighth signal to a switch, the eighth signal configured to actuate the switch such that an electrical generator of the wind turbine supplies electrical power to an air compressor that is in fluid communication with the storage vessel and an electrical grid.

[0093] In Example 21, the subject matter of any one or more of Examples 15- 20 optionally include wherein when the wind velocity is greater than the predetermined wind velocity, the instructions, when executed by the process, further cause the process to transmit a ninth signal to a switch, the ninth signal configured to actuate the switch such that an electrical generator of the wind turbine is electrically disconnected from an air compressor mat is in fluid communication with the storage vessel and an electrical grid.

[0094] The above detailed description includes references to the accompanying drawings, which form a part of the detailed description. The drawings show, by way of illustration, specific embodiments mat may be practiced. These embodiments are also referred to herein as "examples." Such examples may include elements in addition to those shown or described. However, also contemplated are examples that include the elements shown or described. Moreover, also contemplate are examples using any combination or permutation of those elements shown or described (or one or more aspects thereof), either with respect to a particular example (or one or more aspects thereof), or with respect to other examples (or one or more aspects thereof) shown or described herein.

[0095] Publications, patents, and patent documents referred to in this document are incorporated by reference herein in their entirety, as though individually incorporated by reference. In the event of inconsistent usages between this document and those documents so incorporated by reference, the usage in the incorporated references) are supplementary to mat of mis document; for irreconcilable inconsistencies, the usage in this document controls.

[0096] In this document, the terms "a" or "an" are used, as is common in patent documents, to include one or more than one, independent of any other instances or usages of "at least one" or "one or more." In mis document, the term "or" is used to refer to a nonexclusive or, such that "A or B" includes "A but not B," "B but not A," and "A and B," unless otherwise indicated. In the appended claims, the terms "including" and "in which" are used as the plain-English equivalents of the respective terms "comprising" and "wherein." Also, in the following claims, the terms "including" and "comprising" are open-ended, that is, a system, device, article, or process that includes elements in addition to those listed after such a term in a claim are still deemed to fall within the scope of that claim. Moreover, in the following claims, the terms "first," "second," and "third," etc. are used merely as labels, and are not intended to suggest a numerical order for their objects.

[0097] The above description is intended to be illustrative, and not restrictive. For example, the above-described examples (or one or more aspects thereof) may be used in combination with others. Other embodiments may be used, such as by- one of ordinary skill in the art upon reviewing the above description. The Abstract is to allow the reader to quickly ascertain the nature of the technical disclosure and is submitted with die understanding that it will not be used to interpret or limit the scope or meaning of the claims. Also, in the above Detailed Description, various features may be grouped together to streamline the disclosure. However, the claims may not set forth features disclosed herein because embodiments may include a subset of said features. Further, embodiments may include fewer features than those disclosed in a particular example. Thus, the following claims are hereby incorporated into the Detailed Description, with a claim standing on its own as a separate embodiment The scope of the embodiments disclosed herein is to be determined with reference to the appended claims, along with the full scope of equivalents to which such claims are entitled.