Domestic turbines becoming reality
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.