WMG refines wind turbines for the built environment

A new type of wind turbine for installation in the built environment is being refined at Warwick Manufacturing Group’s (WMG’s) 3D Power Wall.

Bulgaria-based McCamley has developed the MT01 Mk2 vertical axis wind turbine and is also using the Power Wall to showcase its innovation to potential buyers.

McCamley’s self-starting turbines currently range from 3–24kW and will initially be targeted at the Urban Renewable Power (URP) market.

They do not take any energy from the grid and are able to operate from wind speeds of only 1.8ms-1. Furthermore, they will not cut out, and continue to generate electricity during extreme weather events such as hurricanes.

They are also radar benign and could therefore be used on top of any building with a helipad.

Philip Mayer, McCamley chairman, said: ‘Planners tend to think of wind turbines as a big mast with blades spinning round. But we’re changing the thinking and planning authorities want to see what our product would look like simulated on their building.’

WMG’s Power Wall allows designers to display and manipulate 3D models that are accurate to five thousandths of a millimetre.

For McCamley, the Power Wall will allow companies to get a visual impression of how the wind turbine would look and work on their property.

Prof Mark Williams, deputy head of WMG Digital Theme Group, told The Engineer: ‘This capability provides key decision makers, such as architects and planners, with the opportunity to view installations of these novel vertical wind turbines in context.

‘The ability to accurately assess the visual impact of this technology within a wide range of urban environments is proving to be a major factor in helping to overcome major barriers to the take up of these types of renewable energy solutions.’

McCamley is looking to develop its wind turbine into an offshore version that will harness wind to provide 100kW, 200kW,  500kW and 1MW turbines.

It is using the Autodesk suite at WMG to scale up, take prints and work on the finer details of the new turbines.

McCamley is also working with Warwick University and Birmingham University in an attempt to develop a photovoltaic film that could be applied to the wind turbines as a thin coat and harness solar energy. If successful, it would make the wind turbines the only structures of their kind to harvest both wind and solar energy.