Efficient and affordable home wind turbine

by Andi
Storan turbine prototype

There are some personal wind turbines floating around, but they are very expensive, heavy and quite inefficient. Ben Storan, an Irish Industrial Design student, thought there could be more done. So he made something different. Something that has brought him the 2007 Sustainability Award, £3000 and a lot of publicity.

His wind turbine design adopts a non-standard, vertical rotation. This and the lightweight materials allow for a higher efficiency. What it does is that, by having a slow rotation, it can convert turbulent winds into energy. The conventional wind turbines can only create energy from constant, linear winds, less likely to be found in urban environments.

The inventor stated that his inspiration came from being born and living in Western Ireland, which has very windy weather. He the realised the great potential offered by it. The final idea was born after seeing a spinning clothes line.

Similarily sized conventional turbines claim to convert a 12m/s wind into 1kW of power, but usually only manage to squeeze out 40% of that. This turbine can realistically bring 1.2kW in similar conditions.

Ben Storan’s vertical wind turbine

Let’s hope that all the publicity will help Ben turn his idea into reality, and that we’ll soon be able to get one (or more) of these. Via TreeHugger.

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