Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Wind turbines enter everyday life

Wind energy is a completely environmentally friendly, renewable source of energy Considering the strain that traditional forms of electricity generation technologies have placed on the environment, a company from the UK has designed wind turbines that can be placed in homes, gardens, offices and schools in order to efficiently generate eco-friendly electricity while adhering to aesthetically pleasing principles.
Wind turbines enter everyday life
In general, turbines transform energy that exists in a stream of fluid into mechanical energy. More specifically, wind turbines use the energy from moving air to generate electricity by utilising finlike blades connected to a rotor. The benefits of using wind turbines to satisfy energy requirements are vast. Firstly, wind turbines are cost-effective as wind energy is the most inexpensive renewable energy technology. Also, the power yielded by wind turbines greatly exceeds any power requirements for turbine maintenance. Furthermore, not only is wind energy totally renewable, it is also completely environmentally friendly as it does not emit harmful substances or cause pollution problems. Moreover, wind turbines structurally do not invade the natural environment. In fact, in many wind farms, land is used for agricultural purposes such as grazing and farming.

FreeGEN Research Ltd. into wind turbines takes this technology one step further by designing turbines in such a way that they can become an aesthetic part of the everyday built environment while satisfying energy needs. The UK company's Combined Augmentation Technology Turbine (CATT) has many market applications as it can be used in a wide variety of market sectors. It is suitable for gardens where a micro turbine generates a few watts for lighting and fountains. This innovative technology can also be utilised in domestic residences, as a 4.5 m high CATT turbine produces 400W for home energy requirements. Another market that could benefit from the CATT wind turbine is the commercial sector, where a 10 m high turbine can produce 10 to 50 KW for schools, offices, and other public buildings.

The designers of this technology focused on creating a wind turbine that is not only very stylish and aesthetically pleasing, it is also technologically innovative. As the CATT turbine was created for the built environment, it is capable of dealing with turbulent and veering winds while increasing the airflow past the propeller to result in a 70% increase in wind velocity. In fact, the turbine head consists of a horizontal axis propeller within an aerodynamic duct along with a novel way of controlling airflow through the duct. In addition, many 'in house' models have been created that demonstrate the product's efficiency, and British and WIPO patents have been applied.

In essence, the CATT wind turbine is affordable, marketable and environmentally friendly while being able to satisfy the aesthetic and energy requirements of homes, offices and other everyday built environments.
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