Like peanut butter and jelly or chips and dip, some things were just meant to go together. A team from the University of Bath in collaboration with SME McCamley Middle East Ltd has developed a new wind turbine that they claim will overcome many of the problems associated with traditional renewable power generation. Their hybrid technology encases a vertical blade wind turbine in an outer frame that is outfitted with solar cells. Bat and bird friendly as well as quiet, the design is able to be installed on buildings in order to assist with urban electricity projects.
While most turbines lose their ability to function when winds are extremely high, the new design is able to safely operate in storms. The model can also still work when air flow is as low as 1.8m/s and can self start without sucking power from the grid. Using vertical axis technology, the turbines are able to better handle variation of wind direction and speed. The addition of solar could increase the efficiency of the unity by being able to take advantage of renewable sources of energy that tend to occur at different times of the day.
SME McCamley Middle East Ltd. has already been testing 1 kilowatt prototypes in the UK and Bulgaria and will be accepting orders for a 12 kilowatt model available for order and delivery in August of this year. The company sees their product as an excellent way for small business ventures to begin to become energy independent and relieve pressure on a fossil-fuel derived infrastructure.