The development, demonstration and evaluation of techniques for integrating wind turbines into urban landscapes have been the focus of a novel EC-funded wind energy project.
Different wind concentrator designs and building shapes have been examined, and a prototype built and tested at the Energy Research Unit’s test site at RAL Energy. The environmental impact and economic assessments of the design have been made, and conceptual design guides produced.
The project itself is run by the environmental engineers and building energy specialists, BDSP Partnership, in collaboration with aerodynamicists from Imperial College, London, and engineers and architects from Holland and Germany.
‘Putting wind turbines in towns closer to the consumers of power is a real challenge’, said Sinisa Stankovic at BDSP.
‘They need to be safe, quiet and visually attractive, but ideally generate enough power to supply a significant proportion of the annual electricity demand of surrounding buildings.’
Two types of wind turbines have been tested: a horizontal axis wind turbine and one with a vertical axis.
‘The results are very encouraging because the prototype building performed even better than wind tunnel testing suggested’, commented Mike Blanch of RAL.