In the wind

Slipstream Energy has been awarded £100,000 of funding from Yorkshire Forward to conduct research that will improve the efficiency of wind turbines.


Yorkshire-based wind turbine specialists Slipstream Energy has been awarded £100,000 of funding from Yorkshire Forward to conduct research that will improve the efficiency of wind turbines.


The Leeds-based company, which is looking at ways of improving the efficiency of wind turbines operating in built-up areas, will use the research grant to complete its work in a collaboration with LeedsUniversity.


Placing wind turbines at the point of use is a very efficient method of power generation, but has the drawback that the turbines are situated in weaker air flows because the wind blows over and around buildings.


Teaming up with the Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) centre at LeedsUniversity, Slipstream’s aerodynamic engineers have been analysing the performance of conventional wind turbines operating in these conditions.


This preliminary work has shown that the standard propeller type turbines often seen in large wind farms suffer significant efficiency reductions when operating in built-up environments.


With additional funding to take the research one step further, Slipstream Energy will now attempt to optimise its turbine design to address the issue of turbulent conditions and create a full-size prototype that will put its theories into practice.


Philip Wilson, managing director of Slipstream, said: ‘There is a strong market for clean power generated at the point of use.


‘Wind turbines are the ideal choice to meet this demand but current products on the market just do not have the performance in variable winds seen in more built up areas.


‘This grant will allow us to further enhance our technology by working with experts to build efficiency improving features into our products.’


Slipstream Energy turbines will be available for installation in 2009.


Installations will require a detailed site survey to ensure optimum turbine performance.