When you picture a "wind farm," you might visualize an agricultural like field full of spinning blades. Perhaps it's on a bluff near the ocean -- or on the ocean even -- or even in the middle of what used to be corn fields.
Either way, it's probably not in a city environment, but a British company is hoping to change that. In early July, engineers at McCamley UK Ltd released a design that would allow for urban, rooftop wind turbines. A prototype of the vertical-axis turbine is installed on the U.K's Keele University's science building. According to the university, it is a design that can "cope with the turbulent and variable nature of the gusting wind conditions often found in urban environments."
Here's more on how its design has been found superior compared to traditional wind turbines:
The turbine has been designed to overcome many of the issues associated with large horizontal – axis turbines seen in wind farms. These turbines rely on a steady wind speed, whereas McCamley’s vertical-axis model is able to cope with the turbulent and variable nature of the gusting wind conditions often found in urban environments. In these situations, when the wind speed drops below 2-3 metres per second the turbine continues to operate, a point at which traditional models stop and when the wind picks up draw power from the Grid to restart. The McCamley turbine does not require this power to restart, it is a self starting wind turbine.
Watch this video explaining the "revolutionary new wind turbine":
Over the next six months, university students will monitor the wind turbine's success on their campus.
“We’re pleased to be bringing our prototype to the UK for the first time," said Scott Elliott, CEO of McCamley, in a statement to the university. "Wind energy has huge potential in the UK, but the traditional wind farm models are just not effective and are certainly not suitable for urban environments. This leaves a huge gap in the market where businesses, residential blocks and other organisations could be benefiting from clean energy.