Conventional wind turbine technology has been a bit out of reach for most residential consumers living in urban areas—until now. Researchers at Hong Kong University and Lucien Gambarota of Motorwave Ltd. have developed Motorwind, a micro-wind turbine technology small enough for private use in both rural and urban environments. Unlike large-scale wind turbines, Motorwave’s micro-wind turbines are light, compact (25 cm rotor diameter), and can generate power with wind speeds as low as 2 meters/second.
The gear-like turbines can be linked to fit just about anywhere and a row of eight turbines costs just $150 for now (prices may decrease once the turbines are mass produced). A portion of the revenue raised from the sale of Motorwind turbines (available for purchase here) will be donated to Hong Kong University to continue researching renewable energy technology.
According to tests, turbines arranged within a surface area of one square meter and a wind speed of 5 m/sec generate 131 kWh/yr. We’ll be watching when the Hong Kong Sea School installs 360 micro-turbins (20 square meters) next month. A second installation of another 880 micro-turbines will be realized if the first installation is a success. Plans are also on the way for the World Wildlife Fund’s Hoi Ha Marine Reserve to install micro-turbines some time in the near future.