An Irish man has come up with a revolutionary light weight design of Vertical Axis Wind Turbine suitable for urban domestic use. Ben Storan was the Winner of the Sustainability Design Awards 2007 at this years Royal College of Art Summer show.
The turbine is very light and flexible so it can be installed in just about any location. It uses textile aerofoils which have ribs to stiffen them. The pole is fibreglass. It weighs only 9kg, so that the total weight of an installation is 25kg roughly half that of a windmill of similar output. The inactive structure is not unlike that of a rotary clothesline, with the blades lying nearly vertically or close to the centre pole.
The height is 4m and diameter in use is approximately 2.5m. The projected selling price including generator is just under £1000. Power output is estimated to be 1.2 kW at 12m/s. The average wind speed in Ireland is about 5.5m/s more or less depending on the geography.
The flexible design would make the windmill safe in severe weather by simply bending in the wind.
Good luck with the development stage Ben.