Flat-pack wind turbine set to transform city landscapes
The UK needs to make better use of its urban space for renewables projects, according to the pioneers of a new wind turbine.
McCamley has just installed its "revolutionary" flat-pack wind turbine at Keele University Science and Business Park in North Staffordshire.
The "easily assembled" turbine can be retrofitted onto a roof without a supporting mast, which, claimed McCamley, makes it a viable source of renewable energy in cities and towns - areas previously seen as unsuitable for wind energy.
"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," said CEO Dr Scott Elliott. "This leaves a huge gap in the market where businesses, residential blocks and other organisations could be benefiting from clean energy."
Dr Elliott said there is a "huge opportunity" to continue developing innovative wind technology that addresses the technical challenges of wind capture in urban environments.
"It is surely a more efficient approach to generate power close to where it is needed," he added.
Urban turbines are generally less productive than turbines in rural areas because, for one, buildings get in the way. However, Dr Elliott hopes his company's prototype will buck this trend.
The turbine has been designed to overcome many of the issues associated with large horizontal-axis turbines seen in wind farms. Such turbines rely on a steady wind speed, whereas McCamley's vertical-axis model is able to cope with the gusting wind conditions often found in towns and cities.
In these situations, when the wind speed drops below 2-3m per second the turbine continues to operate, unlike traditional models which stop and have to draw power for the grid in order to re-start. The bearings have also been "deliberately over-sized" so the structure can cope with gusting winds.