Starting at the South Pole -- New French company

A new French company is testing a 10 kW turbine designed to work in the extreme conditions around the South Pole. The machine, the CH Caphorn 10/POL, is built for polar weather and can survive wind speeds of up to 90 m/s. Designed and manufactured by CITA, a company set up as a subsidiary of the French construction group GSEF in 1997, the turbine has a cut out wind speed of 30 m/s.

It took four years to develop at a cost of FFR 2.8 million. The CH Caphorn 10/POL will undergo trials during the summer at a site near the Sallèles-Limousis wind farm, north of Carcassonne in southern France. If all goes well the turbine will be delivered to the customer/operator, the Institut Francais pour la Recherche et la Technologie Polaires (IFRTP), which will ship it to Antarctica in September.

CITA has a firm option to sell four more of the turbines to IFRTP next year. CITA's second turbine model, the CH Caphorn 12/5.3, is based on similar technology but is intended for more conventional use and will sell to private individuals living in remote areas. CITA then plans to create a range of turbines from micro size to turbines for offshore use.

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