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Wind Energy

Governments across the EU have committed to generating 20% of electricity from renewable sources by 2020 with energy policy makers expecting most of this to come from wind. Wind Energy is the world’s fastest growing renewable energy source, a trend that is expected to continue. 

An integral part of onshore wind energy will come from small-medium wind systems (10 – 50kW turbines). However devices currently available are limited as they are not cost effective or they are inherently unsuitable for a myriad of locations. 

The majority of commercially available wind turbines are Horizontal Axis Wind Turbines (HAWTs). These have a long-established design history and as a result, have been accepted into the renewables market; commercially attractive for installers and operators. However, there are a number of limitations to HAWT turbines, for example:
  • They need smooth non-turbulent airflow
  • They cannot cope with rapid changes in wind direction
  • They are noisy due to speed of blade tips
It is for these reasons that HAWTs are installed at a significant height (above obstructions in the airflow), in open areas (ridgelines and hilltops) and away from dwellings and other buildings. 

Conventional wind farms typically consist of increasingly large HAWT designs in ever more remote locations, both onshore and offshore. Such large designs have high installation and maintenance costs, together with negative impacts on energy transmission costs and losses and the environment. 

Vertical Axis Wind Turbines (VAWTs) obviate all the disadvantages of HAWT technology, overcoming the technical and economic challenges of generating power in turbulent and lower speed wind. However, they do not have the same well established market pedigree and associated support infrastructure. Typically this is due to the drawbacks of currently available VAWT technology - lift based VAWTS do not have the ability to self-start and drag based VAWTS have low efficiency.  

Swift TG Energy has designed a VAWT that overcome the disadvantages of both these types of VAWTS – this turbine will pave the way in the future of urban wind generation and eliminate issues with other turbines on the market. 

Find out more about the Swift TG Energy’s WindSurf WS133.