Do­mes­tic tur­bines be­com­ing re­al­ity

Element - - Clean Technology -

Live high on the hill at Muri­wai? Here’s some good news. Do­mes­tic wind­power is forg­ing ahead in leaps and bounds both here and over­seas.

A rev­o­lu­tion­ary sin­gle-blade wind tur­bine de­signed for do­mes­tic use by Dunedin’s Pow­er­house Wind Lim­ited will be de­vel­oped for pro­duc­tion and sale in part­ner­ship with Otago Polytech­nic, thanks to a $368,000 grant from the Min­istry of Sci­ence and In­no­va­tion’s Tech­nol­ogy Trans­fer Voucher scheme awarded re­cently.

Tra­di­tional wind tur­bines are con­structed with mul­ti­ple blades at­tached to a fixed hub; Thi­nair’s sin­gle-blade tee­ter­ing hub de­sign al­lows the blade’s an­gle to change in re­sponse to vari­a­tions in wind speed. As a re­sult, it makes more ef­fi­cient use of strong and gusty wind, is pro­tected from dam­age in ex­treme wind and is con­sid­er­ably qui­eter than tra­di­tional tur­bines.

Mean­while in the UK a novel new tur­bine has re­cently been fit­ted to the roof of Keele Univer­sity. The ver­ti­cal-axis tur­bine is tipped for wide­spread com­mer­cial and res­i­den­tial use, over­com­ing many of the is­sues as­so­ci­ated with large hor­i­zon­tal– axis tur­bines seen in wind farms. The McCam­ley tur­bines are able to work at both very low and ex­treme wind speeds, and the blades make far less noise than tra­di­tional de­signs.

Look out for them on a house near you.

Left to right: The Thi­nair tur­bine, The McCam­ley tur­bine.

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