While most of the industry is busy developing megawatt class turbines, Dutch firm Lagerwey the Windmaster has turned its attention to the wind resource on doorsteps and roof tops. Working with power company NUON, Lagerwey has made a low-noise 2.5 kW wind generator specifically for use in built-up areas. Emitting just 70 dB (A) at source and 35 dB(A) at ground level -- the sound level of mumbled conversation -- the mini-turbine has a big future, says NUON, particularly in combination with other renewable technologies in clean energy building projects. The kWh price is higher than that of larger turbines, but still undercuts clean energy technologies conventionally used on buildings, such as solar.
NUON will take care of domestic marketing and sales and sees a strong Netherlands base. Lagerwey will concentrate on promoting the miniature turbine's suitability for use in hybrid systems in remote areas of the world without grid access.
Designed by industrial designer Huibert Groenendijk, the model has a standard hub height of 12 metres but also comes in a 15 metre version. It will be featured at the Power Expo 2000 trade fair at Zaragoza, Spain in September.