Wind by Axel Bruns

Member Article

Prototype wind turbine could transform renewable energy

A prototype for a new design of wind turbine which could revolutionise the renewables industry has been installed at Keele University.

The new vertical-axis turbine, which has been installed at Keele University Science and Business Park by McCamley UK Ltd has been designed to overcome many of the issues which are associated with the current wind turbines.

Wind turbines currently used on wind farms rely on a steady wind speed to produce energy whereas the prototype vertical-axis turbine is able to cope with the turbulent and variable wind conditions.

When the wind drops below 2-3 metres per second, the turbine will continue to operate, a point at which traditional models stop before using power from the National Grid to restart. The McCamley turbine does not require power to restart making it more efficient.

Easily assembled from ‘flat-pack’ storable parts, the McCamley turbine could one day be fitted to the roofs of offices and residential spaces without a supporting mast making it a viable source of renewable energy in areas which have previously seemed unsuitable for wind energy.

During the coming months, academics at Keele University will monitor the process of the prototype and work towards microgeneration certification which, if successful, will make businesses that install the model eligible from the government feed-in-tariff scheme.

The government scheme means people who install electricity generating technology from a renewable or low-carbon source may qualify for money from their energy supplier or the energy they generate, even if they use the energy they produce.

Chancellor at Keele University, Jonathon Porritt said: “It’s really interesting to see McCamley’s vision for a new design of wind turbine come to fruition here at Keele. Sustainability is at the heart of everything the University does, so it’s a significant opportunity for the institution to assist a business on the science park in the development of this new technology.

“Not only will the turbine support our aim to continue reducing our environmental impact as a university, but will also provide a tool for students to engage with and learn more about the future of renewable energy.”

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Francesca Dent .

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