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|This image of a vertical axis wind turbine being tested in the Markham Wind Tunnel, in the Aerodynamics lab, was highly commended in the Department's recent photo competition.
The photo was entered by Dr Tamas Bertenyi, a post doctoral researcher working with Dr Holger Babinsky. He explains a little about the project:
"We have been undertaking some aerodynamic tests with XCO2, a sustainable engineering firm with connections to the University. They are developing the Quiet Revolution family of vertical axis wind turbines, specifically targeted to the urban environment. The idea is that these turbines, which have quite complex blade geometries, can be used on buildings to renewably generate some of the power required by the occupants. In the intended setting, not only do the turbines need to be efficient but also be aesthetically pleasing and to operate quietly. Furthermore, in urban environments the wind direction and speed can alter quite suddenly, so the design drivers are significantly different from the large wind turbines people are used to seeing on wind farms."
"The Markham Wind Tunnel we have here in the Department of Engineering is ideal for this type of testing, as it is large enough to allow for larger-scale models and can operate at wind speeds up to 60m/sec. We are interested in improving the experimental techniques used for testing these machines and developing the engineering design tools for working on such complex aerodynamic design problems."
"The end result will be an environmentally friendly product and a cost effective way of producing electricity that is integrated into our urban landscape, on buildings, lamp-posts or mobile phone towers."
Other photographs entered for the competition will be displayed on the Department's home page in the near future, and are available to view in an image gallery.
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