Potentially revolutionising the renewables industry
A prototype for a brand new design of wind turbine that will generate electricity in urban areas, potentially revolutionising the renewables industry, has been installed for the first time in the UK at Keele University.
The new vertical-axis turbine has been installed at Keele University Science and Business Park by a pioneering renewables company, McCamley UK Ltd. The scalable design could one day incorporate office or residential space as part of the turbine design, transforming the future of the city landscape.
The turbine has been designed to overcome many of the issues associated with large horizontal – axis turbines seen in wind farms. These turbines rely on a steady wind speed, whereas McCamley’s vertical-axis model is able to cope with the turbulent and variable nature of the gusting wind conditions often found in urban environments. In these situations, when the wind speed drops below 2-3metres per second the turbine continues to operate, a point at which traditional models stop and when the wind picks up draw power from the Grid to restart. The McCamley turbine does not require this power to restart, it is a self starting wind turbine.
The McCamley turbine can be easily assembled from ‘flat-pack’ storable parts and retrofitted onto a roof without a supporting mast, making it a viable source of renewable energy in cities and towns – areas previously seen as unsuitable for wind energy.
A self-regulating system also means the turbine continues to work efficiently in high gusting wind speeds, keeping at a consistent, steady speed. The absence of down-force from sweeping blades also significantly decreases noise and significantly reduces ground vibrations. In addition, the design of the turbine is less likely to impact on wildlife.
The turbine also has the potential to be effective on farms and related rural areas.
During the next six months, McCamley will realise plans for a 12kW model. Meanwhile, academics and students at Keele University are monitoring the progress of the first prototype and working towards microgeneration certification. If accepted, businesses that choose to install the model will be able to benefit from the Government Feed-in-Tariff scheme.
via Keele University
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