Coupled turbines spread the burden
Domestic rooftop wind turbines have the potential not only to generate energy, but also bring roofs down in high winds
Ben Hales, who graduated this year in industrial design from DeMontfort University in Leicester, has come up with a scheme to mount a series of small, vertical axis wind turbines along a roof apex. These are linked by a common drive shaft running inside the apex, each vertical turbine driving it through bevel gears.
“The modular design, which runs the length of a pitched roof, is a substantially smaller and more discreet installation than a single mast-mounted unit,” he explains. “The system is also quieter running and it is hoped that this feature, in conjunction with its small scale, will begin to encourage consumers and developers to invest in sustainable energy for homes. The more energy we can produce for ourselves, the more money we save and the smaller our carbon footprint becomes.”
Hales estimates that four turbines, at an average wind speed of 5.5m/s, would produce 3000kWh per year, saving the householder £200 to £250. Payback time should be six to eight years.
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