Developer trials wind turbine design for city settings in UK

Posted at July 5, 2012 » By : » Categories : News » Comments Off on Developer trials wind turbine design for city settings in UK

A new wind turbine design developed by renewables company McCamley UK for urban areas is being tested at Keele University’s Science and Business Park in North Staffordshire.

The vertical-axis turbine comes ‘flat-packed’ and can be retrofitted onto a roof without a supporting mast, making it much easier to install in cities than other similar turbines.

Unlike the now-familiar horizontal-axis turbines, which rely on steady wind speeds, the vertical-axis design devised by McCamley can deal with the turbulent and gusting winds often encountered in urban areas.

While horizontal-axis turbines cease turning if the wind speed drops to less than 2-3 m/s and need to draw power from the grid to restart when the wind picks up again, the new turbine design is self-starting and is self-regulating so that it keeps turning even under gusty conditions.

The vertical-axis design also reduces noise and ground vibration, which could be a significant boon in urban areas.

McCamley believes the design is ideal for urban areas and could be scaled up to large megawatt turbines for use into office or residential spaces.

While the prototype is being tested at Keele University for possible microgeneration certification, McCamley says it will be working on plans for a 12 kW model.

“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,” says McCamley UK’s CEO Scott Elliott. “This leaves a huge gap in the market where businesses, residential blocks and other organisations could be benefiting from clean energy.”

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Related stories:
Vattenfall and RWE Welsh wind farms to go before public inquiry (28-Jun)
UK’s National Trust launches wind farm legal challenge (14-May)
UK’s largest community-owned wind farm seeks go ahead (10-May)
UK gives go ahead for Vattenfall’s 299 MW Welsh wind farm (8-May)

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