Affordable Personal Wind Turbines

An Industrial Design Engineering student in the UK has won the top prize in this year's BSI (British Standards Institute)Sustainability Design Awards with his innovative take on the windturbine. Not only is Ben Storan's design particularly suited to urbanenvironments where traditional windmills can be impractical but it'salso extremely easy to setup and take down when the weather gets nasty.

The result is a unique design which uses vertical,rather than traditional horizontal, rotation. This feature gives aslower rotational speed, which allows the turbine to capture moreenergy from turbulent air flow, common to urban environments. It alsomeans quieter operation.

As a result, it is able to generate more energy than domestic modelscurrently on the market. Similarly sized existing personal windturbines claim to generate 1kW at a wind speed of 12 m/s, but typicallyproduce just 40% of what is claimed. Ben's design should realisticallyproduce 3 times that (1.2kW) of those currently on the market.

The clever vertical rotation design uses lightweight materials,which means Ben's turbine is more stable than other personal turbinesleading to better energy capture and making it is easier to install.

Source: ohgizmo.comAdded: 7 September 2007