2022 Prototype Installation and Testing Awardee: Windward Engineering

Research output: NRELFact Sheet


The 60-kilowatt (kW) Zephyr 21/60 wind turbine from Windward Engineering uses a low-cost, full-span independent pitch system that can act as a redundant aerodynamic braking system. This design uses a relatively simple pneumatic rotary vane actuator, allowing each of the turbine's three blades to be pitched independently and any single blade to activate emergency braking for the entire turbine. A previous Competitiveness Improvement Project (CIP) funding award enabled Windward Engineering to design and develop the Zephyr 21/60 wind turbine's aeroelastic model and pitch system. At the end of this current Competitiveness Improvement Project award, a fully validated aeroelastic model will make it possible to certify Windward Engineering's Zephyr 21/60 design and quantify the technology's levelized cost of energy in preparation for certification and entry into the distributed wind market. The Zephyr 21/60 will feature an attractive levelized cost of energy, improved reliability, and a full-span pitch system for safe and redundant protection against rotor overspeed (which occurs when the rotor turns beyond its design limit).
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages2
StatePublished - 2023

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/FS-5000-87370


  • CIP
  • Competitiveness Improvement Project
  • distributed wind
  • distributed wind technology
  • wind energy


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