Designing and building the new McCamley vertical axis wind turbine took decades, but it may have been well worth it, as the company believes their innovative design could revolutionize urban wind power.
The McCamley MT01 Mk2 is designed to be easy to install, without any need for a tower, on urban rooftops, and is claimed to be able to operate with minimal noise and vibration and be able to self-start (no grid power input) at low wind speeds. The McCamley turbine was specifically designed to work in the variable and turbulent winds typically found in the city, and because it can continue to operate in extremely strong winds, may be able to harvest energy from a wider range of wind conditions than other designs.
The lightweight turbine is mounted on multiple legs, cutting down on vibration and stress on the roof, and the rotor design is said to be "bird and bat friendly". The Mk2 self-starts in winds as low as 1.8 meters/second, and a self-regulating speed system allows the turbine to continue to operate efficiently in gusting and turbulent winds by keeping the rotor at a consistent speed. The turbine's direct-drive design also eliminates the need for a gear box, simplifying the maintenance or repair of the units.
A prototype 1kW McCamley turbine has been installed at Keele University (UK), following a successful field test at an installation in Lyaskovets, Bulgaria:
"We believe that this design has the potential to be the new face of wind energy and is completely scalable, from 12kW designs to larger megawatt designs." - Dr Scott Elliott, CEO of McCamley UK Ltd
Elliott believes McCamley will be able to build a 12kW version in the next six months, and that the technology is scalable up to 24kW. They also plan to incorporate solar panels into the stator, enabling the generation of electricity from both the sun and wind from a single installation.