A UK project aimed at assessing the feasibility of a new design of wind turbines that uses large vertical wings has been awarded funding by the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI).
Project Novel Offshore Vertical Axis (NOVA) is one of four programmes to receive a share of the £20m funding put forward by the ETI in the hope of boosting the UK’s efforts in achieving its 2020 energy goals.
The consortium, which has been put together by Wind Power Limited, will include representatives from the universities of Cranfield, Sheffield and Strathclyde, and the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS) alongside Qinetiq and offshore engineering company James Ingram Associates.
Project NOVA’s wind turbine design is based on an invention by David Sharpe that involves a pair of 120m V-shaped composite wings rotating around the central axis to create power.
The design is believed to benefit from lower lifecycle costs due to fewer moving parts and a reduced sensitivity to wind direction.
It will also feature a relatively low centre of gravity, which makes it suitable for offshore applications and reduces the problem of interference with aircraft radars.
The project will follow a three-stage approach, with the aim of creating a large-scale model that will be installed within six years.
The first phase will last a period of 15 months and will focus on the development of relationships with other organisations with a view to future participation.
Annie Hairsine, associate director at OTM Consulting, said: ‘We have developed a unique and iconic solution that we are confident will play a key part in meeting future UK and global energy needs.
‘Our consortium draws on many of the most creative organisations in the UK that collectively have the ability to develop and deliver a new and cost-effective solution.
‘NOVA’s concept is readily scalable, will provide high structural efficiency and reliability, and has excellent low carbon energy credentials.
‘The design aims to stimulate the UK renewable energy supply chain – another key element to sustaining the UK’s capability in low-cost energy solutions.’