Keele University wind turbine

Keele University’s vertical axis wind turbine.

Keele University became the first university in the UK to install a vertical axis wind turbine in its energy conservation efforts. The plans were submitted in 2011 and called for the machine to be installed in the Keele Science and Business Park.

Vertical axis wind turbines have advantages over traditional horizontal turbines in that they more efficiently harvest wind at many different speeds, they are much quieter and don’t need as much room to operate. McCamley UK is the company that manufactured and installed the turbine. Here is a video showing the testing of the machine before it was shipped to Keele University.

The turbine McCamley installed on the Keele University campus is self-starting. It requires no electricity to start up. It can start in winds as low as 1.8 m/s. Unlike many other models it can operate in strong, storm force winds. Because of its enclosed blades design, it is bird friendly.

“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,” says McCamley UK’s CEO Scott Elliott. “This leaves a huge gap in the market where businesses, residential blocks and other organizations could be benefiting from clean energy.”

The McCamley vertical axis wind turbine can be installed on a rooftop without a supporting mast which makes it an easy and efficient option for renewable energy within the city. The new design will be tested at Keele University for a period of six months beginning in May 2012.

“Our focus now is on researching and developing our turbine which is a critical next step for us. Keele’s students will help us to prove its benefits, performing a number of different tests over the coming months such as noise and vibration modeling. Our product is virtually silent but we need the evidence to support that. It’s an exciting and interesting time for McCamley and we’re looking forward to developing our range here at Keele and making this our HQ,” Elliot said.


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