Keele University Science and Business Park, is now the proud owner, of what is hopefully the first of many, vertical-axis wind turbines, installed and developed by McCamley UK Ltd as part of a national plan, to transform how cities generate their renewable energy.
This prototype for a new verticle-axis wind turbine, has a revolutionary design, that allows several of the many issues commonly associated with the large horizontal-axis turbines, to be overcome. Urban wind turbines have always had a tough time in the UK, with most opposition being centred around the fact that they are potential eyesores, being both to large and too costly.
The McCamley MT101 Mk2, now installed at Keele University, can deal with the stronger and more turbulent gusts, that are often found in Urban areas. Furthermore, the McCamley turbine is self-starting at wind speeds as low as 2 metres per second, not having to draw power from the electrical grid to restart when the wind has dropped below a certain level, unlike standard wind turbines. It also has no cut-out speed and can continue to operate in storm winds, thus increasing its operational weather window. It is even animal friendly, as no bird or bats have been recorded as ever having come into contact with the MK1 version of the machine, in trials around Europe and this is expected to be the case also, for the Mk2.
The parts for the MT101 Mk2 are produced to 'flat-pak', using storable parts and as such, retrofitting and installation onto a roof without a supporting mast, is now easily achieved. Not just for use in urbanised areas, the vertical-axis wind turbine can also be applied on farms and associated rural areas.
The potential for wind energy in the UK is huge and McCamley UK have found a niche in the market, that has been waiting to be filled. Dr Scott Elliot, CEO of McCamley UK Ltd, believes that, "Traditional farm models are just not effective and certainly not suitable for urban environments." The MT101 Mk2 has the potential to be the "new face of wind energy" and is "completely scalable, from 12 KW designs to larger megawatt designs". Dr. Scott Elliot feels that this will potentially, "allow residential blocks and other organisations to benefit from clean energy".
This is a great new innovation and one the wind industry desperately needs. Bad press over ugly, imposing wind turbines may hopefully, one day, be a thing of the past and the anti-wind complainers may at last, have had the wind taken out of their constantly flapping sails.