New online tool claims to remove uncertainties over citing of small-scale wind turbines
4th March 2009
The Carbon Trust is giving businesses and individuals the opportunity to ‘try before they buy’ small-scale wind turbines with the launch of an online tool that calculates how much power could be generated in a particular location, alongside the likely cost and carbon saving.
It is hoped that the ‘Wind Yield Estimation Tool’ will help address questions about the effectiveness of small-scale wind turbines in particular locations – such as those raised in the press over the siting of a turbine at the London home of Conservative leader David Cameron.
By inputting a postcode, details about the surrounding landscape and the type of turbine, users will be able to calculate the annual mean wind speed and likely energy generation for their proposed site.
Users can also check the impact of installing a turbine at different heights – to optimise generating capacity, turbines need to be positioned above the height of nearby trees and buildings and as high as practicably possible.
The Carbon Trust, the Government-backed organisation accelerating the move to a low carbon economy, believes its Wind Yield Estimation Tool is the most rigorous of its kind as others do not incorporate the land use information that it says is vital to accurately model wind behaviour, particularly in urban areas where roof-mounted turbines may not pay back the carbon footprint created to manufacture them.
Pete Allen, chief executive officer at Iskra, a small wind turbine manufacturer, commented: "The new wind energy yield assessment tool will be very valuable for us and prospective customers as it provides an independent and accurate assessment of average wind strengths. This will reduce time spent on site visits and so speed up feasibility studies saving Iskra and the customer time and money.”
The Wind Yield Estimation Tool is freely available on the Carbon Trust website.