Airdolphin is a cutting-edge small wind turbine that combines knowledge and technology from various sources in Japan. In 2002, Zephyr chaired Japan’s “Project Z” R&D consortium, charged with developing the world’s most advanced small wind turbine. Members from industry, academia and the Japanese government, such as the Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, the University of Tokyo, Toray, Hitachi Metals, NTN, and Yokogawa Electric Corporation joined together to develop the Airdolphin. Airdolphin was designed over 4 years combining the best of Japanese technology. Today, the highly acclaimed turbine forms the core of micro renewable energy solutions provided by Zephyr in countries around the world.
Airdolphin Mark-Zero/Pro weighs only 18 kg (39.7 lbs) while Airdolphin GTO weighs 20 kg (44.1 lbs).This allows excellent response to changing winds even under turbulent flows, resulting in efficient power generation. Also, its lightweight design allows it to be installed on many structures and sites.
The turbine automatically evaluates the wind conditions and continues to deliver output power at a reduced rotation speed with no need for cut-out. Also, in order to capture instantly changing winds in a typhoon or cyclone, the generator is equipped to instantly shift to 4kW generation (20m/s for the GTO). Therefore, improving generation efficiency and increasing the electrical power output are realized.
Airdolphin prevents damage to itself by taking appropriate responses to various conditions such as generator temperature, circuit temperature, excessive output, excessive voltage, and excessive rotation.
In order to realize highly-efficient power generation under a wide range of wind speeds, the turbine is controlled by programming that matches the characteristics of the Multi-Stagger Blades. Zephyr has developed the blades that adapt to a wide range of wind speeds, the high-efficiency generator, and the power management system which combines those two elements.
The tailpiece of the Airdolphin uses the Swing Rudder System, an attitude control system inspired by fish fin. The system can instantly respond to wind direction changes and achieve a more efficient power generation.
Zephyr’s Eco-Communication System allows bidirectional communication with the RM-1000. The RM-1000’s server functions can be used for remote control of the turbine as well as displaying power generation status.
Using a generator weighing 7.5kg with a maximum output of 4.5kW, the Airdolphin achieves high electrical generation and powerful braking force of regenerative brakes. For the magnets, NEOMAX® (neodymium iron boron), the world’s strongest magnets, are used.
When there is no wind, the Airdolphin uses previously generated power to rotate for 10 seconds of every minute. This lets the rotor start up from a subtle wind and efficiently reach the cut-in point. This function also prevents freezing in cold weather.
The Airdolphin uses a “Silent Disruptor Blade.” This new blade has numerous miniscule grooves on its surface, which significantly reduces air flow noise. This technology, developed by Zephyr’s designers, was inspired by the wings of owls that allow them to fly silently to stalk its prey.
The body structure employs a “Block Puzzle Structure” which uses no screws or bolts, inspired by the Japanese traditional craft of close-fitting block puzzles. The robust and durable body structure is a unique achievement of Japanese craftsmanship.
The new rotor system incorporates two leading-edge technologies, allowing the turbine to flexibly adapt to various wind conditions ranging from slight breezes to strong gusts for efficient power generation. Also, pitch control is unnecessary with this system.
（1） Ultra low-mass carbon-fiber skin is used for the blades. It is a high stiffness material with long service life that is also used in the wings of next-generation aircraft.
（2） Multi-Stagger System is used for the rotor design. It allows the optimal wind-to-power conversion factor for each wind speed, across a wide range of speeds.
Our original body design creates a next-generation look, inspired by the elegance and functional beauty of living things in nature. Airdolphin’s form blends in well with surrounding environments while still asserting its presence. The streamline form and moving tailpiece create the impression of a living organism, which can be both pleasing and soothing to watch.
The amount of CO2 released during an Airdolphin’s production is approximately 180kg. The time required to offset this amount through the turbine’s power generation is only 4-5 months (average wind speeds of 4.5m/s, conversion of 0.425kg-CO2/kwh). Once past the offsetting point, all generated electricity can be accounted as CO2 reduction, contributing to a “cool Earth.”