Wind gets personal

1 min read

A new design for personal wind turbines has won the top prize at the BSI Sustainability Design Awards.

A revolutionary new design for personal wind turbines has won the top prize at the BSI Sustainability Design Awards 2007.

Ben Storan, a student graduating with an MA in Industrial Design Engineering from the Royal College of Art (RCA), has been working for the past year in conjunction with Imperial College to design an affordable personal wind turbine suited to the urban environment.

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

As a result, it is able to generate more energy than domestic models currently on the market. Similarly sized existing personal wind turbines claim to generate 1kW at a wind speed of 12 m/sec, but typically produce just 40 per cent of what is claimed.  Storan’s design should realistically produce three times that (1.2kW) of those currently on the market.

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

Whilst still at the early stages of development, Storan hopes that his design will be in production in the not too distant future.