Vertical axis in decline

The MCS approved list of small wind turbines includes 31 models, but none of them are vertical axis any more.

Quiet Revolution QR5, the darling of the architects, is no longer listed there.  Instead the company have quietly shifted to marketing a chinese machine, the Hy5

A news story about the quiet revolution turbine “£48k wind turbine creates £5 of power a month”.  Bad siting of poorly chosen technology has proved another huge embarrassment for the wind industry once again. Mick Sagrillo’s comment: “So, what’s your problem?  It’s a VAWT.  They don’t need tall towers or exposed sites, remember?”

Meantime James Alan Rowan of Mag-Wind has been indicted for his fraudulent activities around vertical axis hype and nonsense.

But there is still a lot of vertical axis hype around on the web, and people still seem to love it.

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5 Responses to Vertical axis in decline

  1. Kostya says:

    How come you only cover VAWTs that fail? A bit biased, are we?

  2. admin says:

    Ok you know of some that succeed? Tell me more!

    • I would like to hear stories of VAWT’s that succeed, also. Even one would be amazing. As a house designer of off grid homes. I get so many requests for wind turbines on the roof. I’ve never thought it was a good idea, for so many reasons, but I’m pretty open to hearing stories that show the good points of this idea. Actual true stories would help address my bias.
      Here in a snowy climate of Ontario, Canada, I am constantly claiming that solar photovoltaic panels on a roof are also a bad idea.
      There are too many photos of solar homes in California on the net, and they all influence people in a way that is not very climate local. We need to design for each unique setting; there is no ideal, one-size-fits-all house design.

  3. Mark says:

    Dear Hugh

    Everything you say about vertical axis machines seems entirely reasonable, especially in urban settings. But I wait in amazed fascination to see what happens to this:

    http://www.greenwisebusiness.co.uk/news/vertical-axis-turbines-could-replace-conventional-offshore-ones-study-finds-2147.aspx#.VLVde10Rgyo

    Their test machine is going to be 10MW!

  4. admin says:

    Yeah I remember 20 years back we used to say that VAWTs would come into their own offshore because the reversing gravity loads would limit HAWts to around 1 MW or some such. In reality the HAWTs don’t seem to have found such limits but it’s still true that it’s an area where vertical axis is not constrained. I did some work for the guy who invented this VAWT a lot of years ago and am glad he is still going and hope that this leads to something. But how do you deal with the fluctuations in power from a 2 blader this size??

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