At Keele University in the UK, a newly designed wind turbine has been installed in its science and business park. It is a vertical-axis turbine and self-starting, so it does not require any power to begin spinning. Four-mile-an-hour breezes are are enough to spin it, so it can be productive in periods of low wind. It is also self-regulating, so it can operate efficiently in gusty winds and maintain a consistent speed.
The prototype turbine is in operation, and there is a plan for a 12-kilowatt model, but the same design might be used for a one-megawatt version eventually.
“We’re pleased to be bringing our prototype to the UK for the first time. Wind energy has huge potential in the UK, but the traditional wind farm models are just not effective and are certainly not suitable for urban environments. This leaves a huge gap in the market where businesses, residential blocks and other organisations could be benefiting from clean energy. We believe that this design has the potential to be the new face of wind energy and is completely scalable, from 12kW designs to larger megawatt designs,” said McCamley UK ceo Dr Scott Elliott.
Their turbine design does not require a mast to be installed on a roof, which makes it suitable for city and town buildings. Also, it reduces sound and ground vibrations, so it would be less disruptive to wildlife in rural areas.
The United Kingdom has goals of generating about 15% of its energy from renewable sources by 2020. It has some of the best wind resources in the region to tap for clean energy.
Image Credit: Keele University