Australian small wind turbine manufacturer, Synergy Power Corporation (SPC), is bringing power to remote Aboriginal communities by installing a number of vertical axis turbines.

Australian manufacturer of small wind turbines, Synergy Power Corporation (SPC), is bringing power to remote communities with the installation of eight S-20000 variable axis machines. The company now has an installed base of over 100 turbines in Australasia.

The recent installations were integrated into remote area power supplies (RAPS) with diesel and solar generators. Most of the systems were designed for Aboriginal "outstation" communities of 10-30 people in central Australia where electrical loads are 20-60 kWh per day and where the average wind speed is 4.5 m/s.

The S-20000 incorporates a 5.8 metre diameter "rudder" blade assembly made of linear fibreglass which rotates at 60-160 rpm. The blades are attached to a 2.4 kW permanent magnet alternator through a gearbox with a 6:1 gear ratio. The output of the alternator can be varied from 48 VDC to 110 VDC. According to SPC, a major advantage of the Survivor technology is its ability to generate electricity in winds as low as 2.8 m/s with a power output of 170 watts at just 3 m/s and energy output as high as 20 kWh/day in a wind speed of 4.5 m/s. Maximum output is reached at 9 m/s.

The synergy RAPS systems typically incorporate its Survivor wind turbine, a solar cell array, a stand-by diesel genset, a dry cell battery bank and a bi-directional single phase inverter. According to Kim Trouchet of SPC, the systems are very cost-effective compared to conventional diesel-only systems. Trouchet sited one recent system that is saving the community $30,000 per year with a payback period of just four years. "Apart from annual operating savings," Trouchet says, "the logistics of delivering and storing diesel fuel at many of these communities are overcome by the renewable energy alternatives of the latest Australian technology."