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Clean Power ridge-turbines

Published on October 23rd, 2009 | by Chris Milton

145

The New NIMBY-Defeating Wind Turbine

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October 23rd, 2009 by
 
 
Wind turbines?  Dontcha hate them!  Horrible things going round-and-round. Roundandroundandroundandround.  They make a lot of noise, and bits seem to keep on falling off them.  Dangerous.

Then there’s the NIMBY neighbours: “Oh, we don’t want one of those here,” they say.  “Renewable energy: yes.  Somewhere where it’s inconvenient: NO!”  It’s as though they think a wind-energy solution can be integrated into every house with minimal visual impact.

Well blow me down, it can!!

Ridgeblade is a fabulous wind-turbine solution from UK based The Power Collective.  It’s very simple: instead of a large standalone windmill-like structure, put a long bladed turbine along the ridge of a building’s roof.

The blades are about the same length as a medium wind turbine, so you can catch about the same amount of wind.  What’s more, as these can be mounted along an existing roof, there’s no need for an additional NIMBY-provoking superstructure.

So revolutionary is this approach that the company has won $750,000 from the Green Challenge Awards.

“It’s beyond a dream,” said Power Collective CEO Dean Gregory when Skype founder Niklas Zennström announced him as the winner.  I’ll bet: he’d only entered the competition two days before the closing date!

This is the right kind of innovation, one which will bring a community together to provide energy together on a collective scale, rather than relying upon some far away power station to provide the same for a profit.

Let’s hope it succeeds.

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About the Author

is a seasoned sustainability journalist focusing on business, finance and clean technology. His writing's been carried by a number of highly respected publishers, including The Guardian, The Washington Post and Scientific American. You can follow him on twitter as @britesprite, where he's one of Mashable's top green tweeters and Fast Company's CSR thought leaders. Alternatively you can follow him to the shops... but that would be boring.



  • bs

    “so you can catch about the same amount of wind” – BS, wind speed is related to height. Roof heights are MUCH lower than your average turbine tower.

    Also i live NEXT to a “normal” wind generator tower NOW. I know how noisy they are. it’s never about safety, its about the noise and strobing on sunny days. Start writing about theses things when you have experience of living next to one.

  • Bluesman50349

    So now all you have to do is figure out how to put the structure on a lazy susan so you can capture the wind from any direction.

  • Gunzyk

    Yes, that device looks discreet and possibly silent (as any tangential blower is). Only trouble is, you have no choice as to the orientation with respect to the wind direction, nor any adjustment with the latter; so, it ight be it is not the most efficient option in many cases.

  • Kplzthx

    You can only hear the sound produced by wind turbines when you are basically stood next to them. The majority of them are placed in areas away from large populations. People who complain about them are fussy. They don’t spoil the landscape in my opinion, in fact I think they look rather majestic. Pipe down and stop moaning. Or would you rather they built a nice big coal power station in that field over there?

    • Anonymous

      excellently said. thanks for chiming in.

    • Tora

      Watch Windfall before you repeat falsehoods produced by the multibillion dollar wind energy combines.

      • Bob_Wallace

        You’d rather we repeat falsehoods produced by the friends of fossil fuels/haters of wind turbines?

        OK, understood…

      • http://cleantechnica.com/ Zachary Shahan

        We actually spend a lot of our time correcting falsehoods like those in Windfall.

        • Tora

          Okay, Zachary, who works for a power company, where is the website which identifies the alleged falsehood and gives a fact based response. The alleged falsehoods, start with these fact supported premises: Tower windmills are: eagle slicers, bat lung exploders, make and annoying whump whump whump sound if they are working, use so much concrete for the base they will not balance out the carbon released in the making of the concrete base in hundreds of years, when the windmill is producing power it generally only displaces cleaner natural gas power, not coal or oil. The light flickering from the blades in the evening and morning is a crazy annoying disco light show. A windmill does not have to produce a single watt of power to be built because the depreciation, about $10 million in only 3 years allows a “green company” to hide profits and then it is sold to another company to get the same benefit. Which is not true and lets see the facts, not the name calling.

          NPR wrote that the film shows that “the wind business is based less on electricity than on tax credits.”[4]

          ^ When A ‘Windfall’ Isn’t Quite What It Seems, NPR, February 2, 2012http://www.npr.org/2012/02/02/146099048/when-a-windfall-isnt-quite-what-it-seems
          A killing of bats investigation is here
          http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn14593-wind-turbines-make-bat-lungs-explode.html?feedId=online-news_rss20

          Small home local generation of power is good. Corporate payments to campaign funds of US reps and senators to get the tax credits is bad

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_FMO27UI6BYKWJ7MLMY55XCI6FU BlipBlap

    Awesome. I want one. Hope this comes to market.

  • http://www.7gen.com reikiman

    I can’t imagine this would solve the vibration problems – in that the moving turbine blades will make vibrations, that are then transmitted into the building.

  • MarilynWann

    I love the idea of having eco-friendly, power-generating non-denominational prayer wheels on my roofline. I’m just wondering if there’d be a problem with vibration.

  • Anonymous

    This is the kind of innovation that will generate support.

  • Graw!!!

    Hey how do bats fare with this design traditional wind turbines wreak havoc on bat populations.

    • Delia Lake

      I don’t want to hurt bats. I want them around to eat mosquitos. No bats roost on my roof though. They don’t even strafe it. They flit around the trees catching insects on the fly.

  • Robbert

    Personally I don’t like the whole nimby argument. If you give people the alternative of having a coal or nuclear plant in their back yard, they don’t like these either. Besides, those look even worse. Still I like the fact that you can mount these turbines on existing roofs.

  • Anonymous

    No information about the nominal power for a regular house. No price too.

    Well it looks difficult to figure something about it.

  • Jan Williams

    Mr. Milton: Second paragraph would be more effective if it read: Somewhere where it’s convenient? No! Still, I got your meaning and liked the article. It’s good news. When can we get it here? I thank you for sharing the news,( and this is not to imply that’s all you did.)

  • wayne s burrell

     Looks good!

  • Anumakonda Jagadeesh

    Wind is the oldest renewable energy source. Water pumping windmills are centuries old and so are wind battery chargers. Latest Giant Wind Turbines of 7 MW(going to be 10 MW) do extract sizeable energy mostly from Offshore.

    No body can deny the role of wind as a supplementary source to Conventional energy .

    Dr.A.Jagadeesh  Nellore(AP),India
    Wind Energy Expert
    E-mail: anumakonda.jagadeesh@gmail:disqus .com

  • Nicholas

    You can use many old spent batteries from UPSes to store the energy. I use them for my other projects. Check computer related firms and stores. Some of them have many piled up.

  • Anonymous

    the situation today doesn’t have to be the situation tomorrow. if it did, we’d still be living in caves.

    with an appropriate renewable energy mix and/or better storage options (on the way), we could have a very different situation tomorrow than we do today

  • http://green-and-energy.com Thomas | Electric Car

    Woow, great idea. Almost invisible and its a great way to brew your own energy at home.
    What about the power of such a turbine? Are there any statistics about the amount of hours the turbine can be used within the year?

  • keish

    how efficient is this wind turbine. i imagine it costs a tidy sum

  • http://www.concernergy.com/ Robert

    Wind power is only as good as the battery or system that stores it. It reduces down to the cost per kilowatt.I don’t imagine a regular turbine would work much better….

    • http://www.britesprite.co.uk Chris Milton

      That’s an excellent point Robert, I’d never considered it before.

      There is absolutely no point in having a sustainable wind turbine if the method of storing the excess power generated is itself unsustainable. Does anyone know of any wind generation enterprises which take this into account?

      • Peter Gorman

        a lot of people are doing away with a battery system. They just tie into the grid and instead of storing the excess, they “turn the meter backwards”. no expensive battery systems, and when you are not using all the electricity produced by your turbine, it goes into the grid.

      • Jan Williams

        Mr. Milton: See also your own site: Clean Technica, for an answer on two counts – or were you just testing to see who was paying attention? Perhaps, this comment of yours came out before those two articles.
        In any event, I liked your article about yet another quieter and low profile wind generator.

        • Sertowers33

          Beacon Power is working with Gaelectric on storage and fast response needs.
          “Brendan McGrath, Gaelectric Group CEO, said: “Our initial focus in developing energy storage was compressed air energy storage (CAES), which is an hours-to-days storage solution. But as we learned more about the energy balancing issues related to wind deployment in Ireland, the UK and Montana, we saw the need to add a storage solution in the seconds-to-minutes timeframe. Beacon’s flywheel technology is extremely effective in providing this service, and their energy storage systems can be deployed incrementally as wind assets are deployed. We’re tremendously excited by this collaboration. It gives us better control over our ability to develop wind projects where we want, and it complements CAES, our other energy storage offering.””

    • Jan Williams

      Robert: Not so, since you speak in absolutes. There are energy companies in the U.S. that buy back power not being used (from residences.) Please read more. And then you correct yourself. Well good for you (shows some humility.) Yet, I’d be careful making any predictions about the future, as you do (in your one month ago comment.) You may wish to also stop attempting to pigeonhole the conversation into : wind won’t replace coal paradigms, lest you also have to correct yourself again (oops, already did.) Seriously, there are many ways to generate electricity or energy aside from the wind(as you later seem to acknowledge.) Thus far, (See how I carefully worded that?), sustainable energy is the wave (pun intended) of the future.
      Best wishes and keep learning.

  • Dave K

    http://wind.energy-business-review.com/news/caltech_researchers_develop_wind_farm_design_based_on_fish_schooling_091123/

    in light of the Caltech study finding that when they school together a bunch of barrel wind turbines, they MULTIPLY the amount of energy collected…. it would be fascinating to see what would happen if instead of just the ridge, the entire roof was covered with rows of your style wind turbines… perhaps in such a way so that all of them are kind of hidden in the structure of the house….could you get 100x as much energy like they did with their “school of vertical wind turbines?” I wonder.

  • Dave K

    http://wind.energy-business-review.com/news/caltech_researchers_develop_wind_farm_design_based_on_fish_schooling_091123/

    in light of the Caltech study finding that when they school together a bunch of barrel wind turbines, they MULTIPLY the amount of energy collected…. it would be fascinating to see what would happen if instead of just the ridge, the entire roof was covered with rows of your style wind turbines… perhaps in such a way so that all of them are kind of hidden in the structure of the house….could you get 100x as much energy like they did with their “school of vertical wind turbines?” I wonder.

    • Tora

      it is not possible that more barrel wind turbines multiply the energy from the wind. they might decrease the losses from running the electric power converters, but increasing aerodynamic energy obtained is sale puffery. I would like to see how it would work, but extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof.

  • mermaldad

    While there are some efficiency issues, it’s not all bad news. At the ridgeline of a roof, the flow will be accelerated slightly, adding a little boost to the system. This is why you will sometimes see wind turbines mounted along ridgelines in the mountains.

    Efficiency is somewhat less important when the power source is free.

  • mermaldad

    While there are some efficiency issues, it’s not all bad news. At the ridgeline of a roof, the flow will be accelerated slightly, adding a little boost to the system. This is why you will sometimes see wind turbines mounted along ridgelines in the mountains.

    Efficiency is somewhat less important when the power source is free.

  • ahdlm

    the wind direction problem (as well as turbulent wind ) can easily be solved with the use of helical blade arrangement.

    http://www.aerotecture.com

    eventually, the fossil fuels will run out, and i wouldn’t bet on any sort of clean fission or fusion being available by then. besides, who wants to keep storing lethal radioactive waste?

    I guess some people just live to shoot down other peoples ideas.

  • ahdlm

    the wind direction problem (as well as turbulent wind ) can easily be solved with the use of helical blade arrangement.

    http://www.aerotecture.com

    eventually, the fossil fuels will run out, and i wouldn’t bet on any sort of clean fission or fusion being available by then. besides, who wants to keep storing lethal radioactive waste?

    I guess some people just live to shoot down other peoples ideas.

  • Evert

    Chris, there is discussion about this on LinkedIn as well:

    http://www.linkedin.com/groupAnswers?viewQuestionAndAnswers=&gid=71342&discussionID=8800495

    It is within a group about Wind Energy, guess you have to become a member to see the discussion.

  • Evert

    Chris, there is discussion about this on LinkedIn as well:

    http://www.linkedin.com/groupAnswers?viewQuestionAndAnswers=&gid=71342&discussionID=8800495

    It is within a group about Wind Energy, guess you have to become a member to see the discussion.

  • Shran

    I do like new ideas, even this one, but i wonder a lot about the level of noise. It seems to me that a rotor like this produces little torque which… creates a need for a lot of RPM to be very effective.

  • Shran

    I do like new ideas, even this one, but i wonder a lot about the level of noise. It seems to me that a rotor like this produces little torque which… creates a need for a lot of RPM to be very effective.

  • http://www.britesprite.co.uk Chris Milton

    Thank you once again to everyone for their comments.

    I applaud Tara’s cynicism, but I can guarantee that I’m not PR for the company, just an honest jobbing journalist who thought this story was worth writing about :)

    Would someone be able to clarify about the comparison to HAWT swept area? I understand the principle, but this is not a HAWT so as far as I’m concerned swept area is irrelevant (apples and pears). Am I missing something?

  • http://www.britesprite.co.uk Chris Milton

    Thank you once again to everyone for their comments.

    I applaud Tara’s cynicism, but I can guarantee that I’m not PR for the company, just an honest jobbing journalist who thought this story was worth writing about :)

    Would someone be able to clarify about the comparison to HAWT swept area? I understand the principle, but this is not a HAWT so as far as I’m concerned swept area is irrelevant (apples and pears). Am I missing something?

  • Sonya

    @Uncle B….very well written, eloquent and on point…I applaud

  • Sonya

    @Uncle B….very well written, eloquent and on point…I applaud

  • Sonya

    jesus folks, at least someone is out there working on it and thinking in new ways. Get of your asses and do something about it yourself, instead of ripping someone else’s ideas to shreds!

  • Sonya

    jesus folks, at least someone is out there working on it and thinking in new ways. Get of your asses and do something about it yourself, instead of ripping someone else’s ideas to shreds!

    • Jan Williams

      Sonya: There are people working on it and manufacturing wind turbines – even ones that have a lower profile and are less noisy, aside from the above.
      I get your point and liked your comment. It’s part of an ongoing war of words and a display of how much “exceptionalists”(as I refer to them) have invested in older ways unclean energy.

  • http://PatentInfringement.com Jim

    hmmmm…..looks very simular to a U.S. Patent already out there since Sept. of 2007?

  • http://PatentInfringement.com Jim

    hmmmm…..looks very simular to a U.S. Patent already out there since Sept. of 2007?

  • Adge72

    It is a good idea and a very neat solution. They seem to be in sections these sections be made to rotate through 180 degrees with fin in the centre of each section.This of course means that each section would need to generates independently.Not so neat and maybe cause problems with weather proofing the the ridge but these could be over come with careful design.

  • Adge72

    It is a good idea and a very neat solution. They seem to be in sections these sections be made to rotate through 180 degrees with fin in the centre of each section.This of course means that each section would need to generates independently.Not so neat and maybe cause problems with weather proofing the the ridge but these could be over come with careful design.

  • Iain

    why is everyone trying to shoot down this idea? I think its a great solution to simple renewable energy.

    Imagine if every single house in the country had one of these on them. They could cut the country’s energy intake by like 10 or 15 percent! and because of the simplicity of it, it could become just as essential to any house as a hot water heater or a fridge!

  • Iain

    why is everyone trying to shoot down this idea? I think its a great solution to simple renewable energy.

    Imagine if every single house in the country had one of these on them. They could cut the country’s energy intake by like 10 or 15 percent! and because of the simplicity of it, it could become just as essential to any house as a hot water heater or a fridge!

  • http://renovo-usa.com Shane LaHousse

    There will a challenge isolating the vibration of this rotating mass from the home since it will need to be mounted rigidly.

  • http://renovo-usa.com Shane LaHousse

    There will a challenge isolating the vibration of this rotating mass from the home since it will need to be mounted rigidly.

  • Keith

    This is the least-efficient form of turbine to begin with (compared to prop-style, or Darien). Then, it’s mounted low and next to obstructions. Very small swept area. Doesn’t follow wind direction.

    I would bet money that this will never be worth installing en masse. These horizontal designs come out every few years, people coo over them, and they disappear when the developers realize it’s a fundamentally weak technology. Unless they knew all along.

    Award fail.

  • Keith

    This is the least-efficient form of turbine to begin with (compared to prop-style, or Darien). Then, it’s mounted low and next to obstructions. Very small swept area. Doesn’t follow wind direction.

    I would bet money that this will never be worth installing en masse. These horizontal designs come out every few years, people coo over them, and they disappear when the developers realize it’s a fundamentally weak technology. Unless they knew all along.

    Award fail.

  • http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/william_kamkwamba_how_i_harnessed_the_wind.html Dave Kliman

    guys capturing ANY wind from the roof is more than what almost anybody is doing now.

    This guy, when he was FOURTEEN took junk he found and built a wind turbine in Tanzania. He used a book he had found to make his own generator and he was able to generate enough energy to get people lined up at his house to charge their gadgets…

    every single thing is a step in the right direction.

    we should invest enough so that 95% is guaranteed to be so crazy that it fails. that’s the only way to have the really amazing innovations… that’s also how nature works… fish lay thousands of eggs in hopes that one will survive to the next year… when a man ejaculates only 15% of the sperm he makes are even viable… but it only takes one success for such a large investment, to completely pay off big time.

  • http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/william_kamkwamba_how_i_harnessed_the_wind.html Dave Kliman

    guys capturing ANY wind from the roof is more than what almost anybody is doing now.

    This guy, when he was FOURTEEN took junk he found and built a wind turbine in Tanzania. He used a book he had found to make his own generator and he was able to generate enough energy to get people lined up at his house to charge their gadgets…

    every single thing is a step in the right direction.

    we should invest enough so that 95% is guaranteed to be so crazy that it fails. that’s the only way to have the really amazing innovations… that’s also how nature works… fish lay thousands of eggs in hopes that one will survive to the next year… when a man ejaculates only 15% of the sperm he makes are even viable… but it only takes one success for such a large investment, to completely pay off big time.

    • Anonymous

      From wind turbine to sperm ejaculation. You have to read it to believe it.

  • Tara

    Are your marketting people behind this? Put out a story with very few design details and let the rest of us fine-tune, applaud or shoot down your idea. free survey with benefits. nice.

  • Tara

    Are your marketting people behind this? Put out a story with very few design details and let the rest of us fine-tune, applaud or shoot down your idea. free survey with benefits. nice.

  • Tara

    might be good for barns and outlying strutures, but houses usually have trees nearby as well as neighboring houses all of which act as various buffers to the wind flow. wind turbines reaching high catch nothing but air.

  • Tara

    might be good for barns and outlying strutures, but houses usually have trees nearby as well as neighboring houses all of which act as various buffers to the wind flow. wind turbines reaching high catch nothing but air.

  • Young Mind

    well, perhaps the turbine does not need to turn in only one direction. what if the turbine has no forward or reverse? and to solve the problem of the directional curve of the blades, just have a twist in the blade as in a badly twisted piece of lumber. This way, whichever way the wind is blowing strongest, the blades will be turning. i have seen something similar to this outside a building in Washington DC, only it was standing on end and was not encased as this one is. and, another issue that would need to be addressed is whether or not the same roof vent would work, or if they would need to be extended down. if it was layed out properly, the heat being expelled from the house may be able to turn the turbine even when there is no breaze outside.

    these are just some thoughts i had.

  • Young Mind

    well, perhaps the turbine does not need to turn in only one direction. what if the turbine has no forward or reverse? and to solve the problem of the directional curve of the blades, just have a twist in the blade as in a badly twisted piece of lumber. This way, whichever way the wind is blowing strongest, the blades will be turning. i have seen something similar to this outside a building in Washington DC, only it was standing on end and was not encased as this one is. and, another issue that would need to be addressed is whether or not the same roof vent would work, or if they would need to be extended down. if it was layed out properly, the heat being expelled from the house may be able to turn the turbine even when there is no breaze outside.

    these are just some thoughts i had.

  • Mr.Candid

    I see a lot of great ideas like this one, but hardly ever see them materialize, what gives?

  • Mr.Candid

    I see a lot of great ideas like this one, but hardly ever see them materialize, what gives?

  • http://www.britesprite.co.uk Chris Milton

    @Pramod brief entry criteria can be found here (http://www.greenchallenge.info/web/show/id=68083): products need to be able to be taken to market within 2 years.

    In this case Ridgeblade is currently installing the first prototypes in the North Yorks Moors (a UK National Park, which has also give the solution a grant).

    Noise & cost: The Power Collective describe Ridgeblade as “extremely quiet” and “low cost”.

    There are no hard figures currently available, other than the nine-times factor against a typical HAWT microgeneration solution.

  • http://www.britesprite.co.uk Chris Milton

    @Pramod brief entry criteria can be found here (http://www.greenchallenge.info/web/show/id=68083): products need to be able to be taken to market within 2 years.

    In this case Ridgeblade is currently installing the first prototypes in the North Yorks Moors (a UK National Park, which has also give the solution a grant).

    Noise & cost: The Power Collective describe Ridgeblade as “extremely quiet” and “low cost”.

    There are no hard figures currently available, other than the nine-times factor against a typical HAWT microgeneration solution.

  • chuck

    hi I’m a roofer and I know better than any one that is bloging to you that you do got a great Idea but there are some details you need to figure in like blade design and lenght to corispond with the roof that the systom is being instaled on please contact me if you would like to further talk about it or meet to see what I’m talking about I would love to see some one stick it to the electric companys and help the people I have pput my email on the thing here and keep up the good work

  • chuck

    hi I’m a roofer and I know better than any one that is bloging to you that you do got a great Idea but there are some details you need to figure in like blade design and lenght to corispond with the roof that the systom is being instaled on please contact me if you would like to further talk about it or meet to see what I’m talking about I would love to see some one stick it to the electric companys and help the people I have pput my email on the thing here and keep up the good work

  • cody

    wind turbines need to be high enough so that there is nothing that will creat a turbulent wind, when wind hits a flat surface it shoots 12 meters strait up before leveling out…so this design probably wouldnt be very effective. and i love seeing regular horizontal axis wind turbines.

  • cody

    wind turbines need to be high enough so that there is nothing that will creat a turbulent wind, when wind hits a flat surface it shoots 12 meters strait up before leveling out…so this design probably wouldnt be very effective. and i love seeing regular horizontal axis wind turbines.

  • GLENN CHON!!!!

    they should add a gutter system on top to catch rain water and use it as a water turbine as well

  • GLENN CHON!!!!

    they should add a gutter system on top to catch rain water and use it as a water turbine as well

  • Bill

    I’d think it would tend to cause the whole structure it was attached to to vibrate and resonate with the turbine. Based on the amount of noise and vibration my conventional turbine produces out in the back yard, I’d hate to have it attached to the house. It’d be deafening. Thirty feet away, anchored to solid ground is fine, but on the roof – yikes! I realize the design being discussed probably produces _less_ vibration, but still, the slightest imbalance, even from crud on the vanes, seems like it would shake the house. I’ll keep mine where it is, where I can watch it whirling gracefully in the wind, but not hear it.

  • Bill

    I’d think it would tend to cause the whole structure it was attached to to vibrate and resonate with the turbine. Based on the amount of noise and vibration my conventional turbine produces out in the back yard, I’d hate to have it attached to the house. It’d be deafening. Thirty feet away, anchored to solid ground is fine, but on the roof – yikes! I realize the design being discussed probably produces _less_ vibration, but still, the slightest imbalance, even from crud on the vanes, seems like it would shake the house. I’ll keep mine where it is, where I can watch it whirling gracefully in the wind, but not hear it.

  • Trod

    The surface drag of the roof will make this very inefficient. Think of a stream, where the water near the banks flows slower than the midstream current.

  • Trod

    The surface drag of the roof will make this very inefficient. Think of a stream, where the water near the banks flows slower than the midstream current.

    • Larry Zane Neff

      Yes, think of a stream where a pinch point is between two rocks.. Current is very fast there..Same principle…

      • Bob_Wallace

        After four years I think it would be safe to assume the stream dried up….

  • http://www.babeled.com Man Overboard

    These actually aren’t that bad. Do you know anything about how much they will cost, noise levels, or power output? Just curious.

  • http://www.babeled.com Man Overboard

    These actually aren’t that bad. Do you know anything about how much they will cost, noise levels, or power output? Just curious.

  • dwindle

    Cute, but useless. Not only can it generate nearly nothing of power, it would be too noisy and generate too much vibration for people to tolerate. Wind is dead, leave it alone.

  • dwindle

    Cute, but useless. Not only can it generate nearly nothing of power, it would be too noisy and generate too much vibration for people to tolerate. Wind is dead, leave it alone.

  • Doug

    What about the noise and vibration. There has to be some. I don,t want hat over my bedroom.

  • Doug

    What about the noise and vibration. There has to be some. I don,t want hat over my bedroom.

  • Pramod

    It is not clear from the article, whether the Green Challenge Award was given after veifying the performance on at least one prototype installed on a roof. Proof of pudding is in the eating. If a prototype has proven the concept, it will certainly make a revolution in the industry. However, the ecoomic feasibility would be limited to certain areas only.

  • Pramod

    It is not clear from the article, whether the Green Challenge Award was given after veifying the performance on at least one prototype installed on a roof. Proof of pudding is in the eating. If a prototype has proven the concept, it will certainly make a revolution in the industry. However, the ecoomic feasibility would be limited to certain areas only.

  • http://www.britesprite.co.uk Chris Milton

    Thank you everyone once again for your comments: it’s a real pleasure to provoke such debate.

    My comment about the length of the blades was deliberately not about swept area, which is essentially a measure of efficiency. Because this is not an HAWT solution, comparing swept area is misleading.

    Similarly, wind turbulence in built up areas is caused by wind rushing off the ridge of a roof. Because the Ridgeblade captures wind at that pinch point it’s actually harnessing pitched roofs to channel wind into the turbines.

    The Power Collective estimate this will make the Ridgeblade up to 9 times more efficient than a HAWT solution.

  • http://www.britesprite.co.uk Chris Milton

    Thank you everyone once again for your comments: it’s a real pleasure to provoke such debate.

    My comment about the length of the blades was deliberately not about swept area, which is essentially a measure of efficiency. Because this is not an HAWT solution, comparing swept area is misleading.

    Similarly, wind turbulence in built up areas is caused by wind rushing off the ridge of a roof. Because the Ridgeblade captures wind at that pinch point it’s actually harnessing pitched roofs to channel wind into the turbines.

    The Power Collective estimate this will make the Ridgeblade up to 9 times more efficient than a HAWT solution.

  • dzent1

    It always amazes me to see such negative comments about the valuable and creative problem solving approaches they themselves have failed to visualize.

    I congratulate the designer on a clever, usable and practical solution that if implemented in the aggregate could do much to ameliorate our present unsustainable reliance on fossil fuel energy.

    The rest of you sound like so much sour grapes. How do people put up with you? If you must speak, do so respectful of the efforts of others and offer solutions yourselves to the problems before us.

  • dzent1

    It always amazes me to see such negative comments about the valuable and creative problem solving approaches they themselves have failed to visualize.

    I congratulate the designer on a clever, usable and practical solution that if implemented in the aggregate could do much to ameliorate our present unsustainable reliance on fossil fuel energy.

    The rest of you sound like so much sour grapes. How do people put up with you? If you must speak, do so respectful of the efforts of others and offer solutions yourselves to the problems before us.

  • Jake

    I wonder if they’ve thought of using vented attic air to augment the captured wind? Electricity generation plus chimney-effect cooling!

  • Jake

    I wonder if they’ve thought of using vented attic air to augment the captured wind? Electricity generation plus chimney-effect cooling!

  • http://www.EnergyMenders.com steve

    Nice and clean, maybe better for birds. I have to wonder if this poses any noise or vibration problems for the house itself. It would not be worth it if I had to live inside of a buzzing box.

  • http://www.EnergyMenders.com steve

    Nice and clean, maybe better for birds. I have to wonder if this poses any noise or vibration problems for the house itself. It would not be worth it if I had to live inside of a buzzing box.

  • peter

    the US government has all the technology to be running everything off of nuclear power and very efficiently… practically no waste, but they aren’t gonna let us do it because everything is about money. that’s why all of these ideas do go to waste. no matter how good or bad

  • peter

    the US government has all the technology to be running everything off of nuclear power and very efficiently… practically no waste, but they aren’t gonna let us do it because everything is about money. that’s why all of these ideas do go to waste. no matter how good or bad

  • The Trutherizer

    Don’t forget solar water heating! lol

  • The Trutherizer

    Don’t forget solar water heating! lol

  • The Trutherizer

    Cool idea!

    You know in the years that I have read articles on solar and wind power one overpowering realization I have had is that there are people who think these devices need to function 100% of the time to be of benefit. Newsflash… It’s simply not true. They don’t need to take you off the grid. They just need to save some power. That’s all. I can just imagine that if a home with such a device fitted also had solar roof tiles then you would be saving a lot of power. A savvy financial investment? – I don’t know… Green common sense – Definitely.

  • The Trutherizer

    Cool idea!

    You know in the years that I have read articles on solar and wind power one overpowering realization I have had is that there are people who think these devices need to function 100% of the time to be of benefit. Newsflash… It’s simply not true. They don’t need to take you off the grid. They just need to save some power. That’s all. I can just imagine that if a home with such a device fitted also had solar roof tiles then you would be saving a lot of power. A savvy financial investment? – I don’t know… Green common sense – Definitely.

  • Thomas

    Thank you Chris for the article. This innovation seems promising. Like you said – if every roof has one – it will go a long way in reducing the dependence on fossil fuel guzzling alternatives.

    I think these methods need to be looked into even for the poor countries where traditional power supply is appalling.

  • Thomas

    Thank you Chris for the article. This innovation seems promising. Like you said – if every roof has one – it will go a long way in reducing the dependence on fossil fuel guzzling alternatives.

    I think these methods need to be looked into even for the poor countries where traditional power supply is appalling.

  • Bart van Herk

    “The blades are about the same length as a medium wind turbine, so you can catch about the same amount of wind.”

    Poppycock. The swept area is so much smaller.

  • Bart van Herk

    “The blades are about the same length as a medium wind turbine, so you can catch about the same amount of wind.”

    Poppycock. The swept area is so much smaller.

  • http://wookware.org/ Wookey

    Wind power is a great idea and we should have a lot more of it, however roof-mounted wind turbines simply don’t work usefully because of the turbulence proivded by the building itself, and usually other nearby buildings and trees. Mounting a turbine anywhere near other structures is a bad idea because it is very close to being a total waste of time/money effort which should be spent on something more useful, such a larger turbine away from buildings, or solar thermal or PV (which do work, even at house-size microgeneration sizes), or of course insulation which pretty-much every house in the country needs more of.

    The fundamentals of this problem mean that it doesn’t matter what shape the turbine is – putting it on a house is dumb. I don’t know how long it is going to be before this info sinks in to everybody and people stop getting $750,000 prizes for things that are dangerous close to scams. (see Windsave in the UK who got a lot of investment money and sold a lot of turbines to ill-informed victims in the UK before finally going bust). Lets hope that the power collective are not going to repeat the performance.

  • http://wookware.org/ Wookey

    Wind power is a great idea and we should have a lot more of it, however roof-mounted wind turbines simply don’t work usefully because of the turbulence proivded by the building itself, and usually other nearby buildings and trees. Mounting a turbine anywhere near other structures is a bad idea because it is very close to being a total waste of time/money effort which should be spent on something more useful, such a larger turbine away from buildings, or solar thermal or PV (which do work, even at house-size microgeneration sizes), or of course insulation which pretty-much every house in the country needs more of.

    The fundamentals of this problem mean that it doesn’t matter what shape the turbine is – putting it on a house is dumb. I don’t know how long it is going to be before this info sinks in to everybody and people stop getting $750,000 prizes for things that are dangerous close to scams. (see Windsave in the UK who got a lot of investment money and sold a lot of turbines to ill-informed victims in the UK before finally going bust). Lets hope that the power collective are not going to repeat the performance.

  • http://wookware.org/ Wookey

    Wind power is a great idea and we should have a lot more of it, however roof-mounted wind turbines simply don’t work usefully because of the turbulence proivded by the building itself, and usually other nearby buildings and trees. Mounting a turbine anywhere near other structures is a bad idea because it is very close to being a total waste of time/money effort which should be spent on something more useful, such a larger turbine away from buildings, or solar thermal or PV (which do work, even at house-size microgeneration sizes), or of course insulation which pretty-much every house in the country needs more of.

    The fundamentals of this problem mean that it doesn’t matter what shape the turbine is – putting it on a house is dumb. I don’t know how long it is going to be before this info sinks in to everybody and people stop getting $750,000 prizes for things that are dangerous close to scams. (see Windsave in the UK who got a lot of investment money and sold a lot of turbines to ill-informed victims in the UK before finally going bust). Lets hope that the power collective are not going to repeat the performance.

  • http://wookware.org/ Wookey

    Wind power is a great idea and we should have a lot more of it, however roof-mounted wind turbines simply don’t work usefully because of the turbulence proivded by the building itself, and usually other nearby buildings and trees. Mounting a turbine anywhere near other structures is a bad idea because it is very close to being a total waste of time/money effort which should be spent on something more useful, such a larger turbine away from buildings, or solar thermal or PV (which do work, even at house-size microgeneration sizes), or of course insulation which pretty-much every house in the country needs more of.

    The fundamentals of this problem mean that it doesn’t matter what shape the turbine is – putting it on a house is dumb. I don’t know how long it is going to be before this info sinks in to everybody and people stop getting $750,000 prizes for things that are dangerous close to scams. (see Windsave in the UK who got a lot of investment money and sold a lot of turbines to ill-informed victims in the UK before finally going bust). Lets hope that the power collective are not going to repeat the performance.

  • http://wookware.org/ Wookey

    Wind power is a great idea and we should have a lot more of it, however roof-mounted wind turbines simply don’t work usefully because of the turbulence proivded by the building itself, and usually other nearby buildings and trees. Mounting a turbine anywhere near other structures is a bad idea because it is very close to being a total waste of time/money effort which should be spent on something more useful, such a larger turbine away from buildings, or solar thermal or PV (which do work, even at house-size microgeneration sizes), or of course insulation which pretty-much every house in the country needs more of.

    The fundamentals of this problem mean that it doesn’t matter what shape the turbine is – putting it on a house is dumb. I don’t know how long it is going to be before this info sinks in to everybody and people stop getting $750,000 prizes for things that are dangerous close to scams. (see Windsave in the UK who got a lot of investment money and sold a lot of turbines to ill-informed victims in the UK before finally going bust). Lets hope that the power collective are not going to repeat the performance.

  • Uncle B

    One day, when NIMBY’s pantry is low, and oil exceeds $150.00 a bbl, America falters and sputters lacking power, and his lights dim in brown outs, and his favorite fishing spot glows from the effluent of the local Nuclear plant, one day! When Nimby’s wife needs surgery in a hospital without even wind power, his child studies by street lamp, he works 14 hour shifts to keep up with Asian realities, his streets are filled with discontents, Anarchists, ready to render his fat ass for their nightly marauds , his daughter cannot shake her gangster boyfriend, and has no medicine for her STD’s, One Day! Nimby will put down his imported Scotch and water, get off his Italian leather sofa, reach for his Chinese made side-arm and shoot the South Korean made bullet right into his thick temple and relieve the rest of humanity of his asinine blinkered follies! We await that day in great anticipation, We the peons, the communal care givers the proletariat of this country, wait for the day that asshvle sees more than himself, his personal needs and desires and realizes the awesome damage he has done to the group, for his lone-star ways!

  • Uncle B

    One day, when NIMBY’s pantry is low, and oil exceeds $150.00 a bbl, America falters and sputters lacking power, and his lights dim in brown outs, and his favorite fishing spot glows from the effluent of the local Nuclear plant, one day! When Nimby’s wife needs surgery in a hospital without even wind power, his child studies by street lamp, he works 14 hour shifts to keep up with Asian realities, his streets are filled with discontents, Anarchists, ready to render his fat ass for their nightly marauds , his daughter cannot shake her gangster boyfriend, and has no medicine for her STD’s, One Day! Nimby will put down his imported Scotch and water, get off his Italian leather sofa, reach for his Chinese made side-arm and shoot the South Korean made bullet right into his thick temple and relieve the rest of humanity of his asinine blinkered follies! We await that day in great anticipation, We the peons, the communal care givers the proletariat of this country, wait for the day that asshvle sees more than himself, his personal needs and desires and realizes the awesome damage he has done to the group, for his lone-star ways!

  • Uncle B

    One day, when NIMBY’s pantry is low, and oil exceeds $150.00 a bbl, America falters and sputters lacking power, and his lights dim in brown outs, and his favorite fishing spot glows from the effluent of the local Nuclear plant, one day! When Nimby’s wife needs surgery in a hospital without even wind power, his child studies by street lamp, he works 14 hour shifts to keep up with Asian realities, his streets are filled with discontents, Anarchists, ready to render his fat ass for their nightly marauds , his daughter cannot shake her gangster boyfriend, and has no medicine for her STD’s, One Day! Nimby will put down his imported Scotch and water, get off his Italian leather sofa, reach for his Chinese made side-arm and shoot the South Korean made bullet right into his thick temple and relieve the rest of humanity of his asinine blinkered follies! We await that day in great anticipation, We the peons, the communal care givers the proletariat of this country, wait for the day that asshvle sees more than himself, his personal needs and desires and realizes the awesome damage he has done to the group, for his lone-star ways!

  • http://www.britesprite.co.uk Chris Milton

    Thanks for all the thoughts everyone!

    bawbag’s point that they cannot rotate is a con when compared to traditional turbines; however in most places the roofs are not aligned in straight lines but curve with the road. From a community POV a roof somewhere may be generating at any point in time.

    The thing is that this ideas is for a good, unobtrusive turbine which could be fitted to every building. Sure it won’t be as efficient as a large scale wind turbine, but with these fitted to houses the need for large turbines could be drastically reduced.

    thos’ point about poverty is also well made and this, once the fundamentals have been sorted out, could well become the lightweight low-technology solution of choice.

  • http://www.britesprite.co.uk Chris Milton

    Thanks for all the thoughts everyone!

    bawbag’s point that they cannot rotate is a con when compared to traditional turbines; however in most places the roofs are not aligned in straight lines but curve with the road. From a community POV a roof somewhere may be generating at any point in time.

    The thing is that this ideas is for a good, unobtrusive turbine which could be fitted to every building. Sure it won’t be as efficient as a large scale wind turbine, but with these fitted to houses the need for large turbines could be drastically reduced.

    thos’ point about poverty is also well made and this, once the fundamentals have been sorted out, could well become the lightweight low-technology solution of choice.

  • http://www.britesprite.co.uk Chris Milton

    Thanks for all the thoughts everyone!

    bawbag’s point that they cannot rotate is a con when compared to traditional turbines; however in most places the roofs are not aligned in straight lines but curve with the road. From a community POV a roof somewhere may be generating at any point in time.

    The thing is that this ideas is for a good, unobtrusive turbine which could be fitted to every building. Sure it won’t be as efficient as a large scale wind turbine, but with these fitted to houses the need for large turbines could be drastically reduced.

    thos’ point about poverty is also well made and this, once the fundamentals have been sorted out, could well become the lightweight low-technology solution of choice.

  • http://www.britesprite.co.uk Chris Milton

    Thanks for all the thoughts everyone!

    bawbag’s point that they cannot rotate is a con when compared to traditional turbines; however in most places the roofs are not aligned in straight lines but curve with the road. From a community POV a roof somewhere may be generating at any point in time.

    The thing is that this ideas is for a good, unobtrusive turbine which could be fitted to every building. Sure it won’t be as efficient as a large scale wind turbine, but with these fitted to houses the need for large turbines could be drastically reduced.

    thos’ point about poverty is also well made and this, once the fundamentals have been sorted out, could well become the lightweight low-technology solution of choice.

  • http://www.britesprite.co.uk Chris Milton

    Thanks for all the thoughts everyone!

    bawbag’s point that they cannot rotate is a con when compared to traditional turbines; however in most places the roofs are not aligned in straight lines but curve with the road. From a community POV a roof somewhere may be generating at any point in time.

    The thing is that this ideas is for a good, unobtrusive turbine which could be fitted to every building. Sure it won’t be as efficient as a large scale wind turbine, but with these fitted to houses the need for large turbines could be drastically reduced.

    thos’ point about poverty is also well made and this, once the fundamentals have been sorted out, could well become the lightweight low-technology solution of choice.

  • Thos Weatherby

    We keep trying to take a non efficient system and making it worse. Wind power is only as good as the battery or system that stores it. It reduces down to the cost per kilowatt. Remember, poverty kills more people than wars, diseases or anything else. The solution must be inexpensive energy. The cheaper the better. I’ll trade in “feeling good” over being poor anytime.

  • Thos Weatherby

    We keep trying to take a non efficient system and making it worse. Wind power is only as good as the battery or system that stores it. It reduces down to the cost per kilowatt. Remember, poverty kills more people than wars, diseases or anything else. The solution must be inexpensive energy. The cheaper the better. I’ll trade in “feeling good” over being poor anytime.

  • Thos Weatherby

    We keep trying to take a non efficient system and making it worse. Wind power is only as good as the battery or system that stores it. It reduces down to the cost per kilowatt. Remember, poverty kills more people than wars, diseases or anything else. The solution must be inexpensive energy. The cheaper the better. I’ll trade in “feeling good” over being poor anytime.

  • James

    We will never see one in use!!

  • James

    We will never see one in use!!

  • James

    We will never see one in use!!

  • Andy Olsen

    Wow. Will these bad ideas never end?

    Re: “The blades are about the same length as a medium wind turbine, so you can catch about the same amount of wind. ”

    The amount of energy captured is not related to the length of the rotor, but to the **swept area** which is very small in this case. But, why not check in with Paul Gipe and Mick Sagrillo, leading wind power experts:

    http://www.wind-works.org/articles/RoofTopMounting.html

    Re: “Wind turbines? Dontcha hate them! ”

    nope!

  • Andy Olsen

    Wow. Will these bad ideas never end?

    Re: “The blades are about the same length as a medium wind turbine, so you can catch about the same amount of wind. ”

    The amount of energy captured is not related to the length of the rotor, but to the **swept area** which is very small in this case. But, why not check in with Paul Gipe and Mick Sagrillo, leading wind power experts:

    http://www.wind-works.org/articles/RoofTopMounting.html

    Re: “Wind turbines? Dontcha hate them! ”

    nope!

  • Aaron

    It would work well on ranch-style houses with L-shaped ridges on the roof.

  • Aaron

    It would work well on ranch-style houses with L-shaped ridges on the roof.

  • don siebert

    another theory goes down in flames, this is just fine as long as the wind direction never changes

    the conventional wind turbines track the wind and have a feathering device to avoid damage in case the wind speed becomes to intense

    lil more thought needed

  • don siebert

    another theory goes down in flames, this is just fine as long as the wind direction never changes

    the conventional wind turbines track the wind and have a feathering device to avoid damage in case the wind speed becomes to intense

    lil more thought needed

  • har

    i don’t imagine a regular turbine would work much better in a wooded valley.

    this would be g

  • har

    i don’t imagine a regular turbine would work much better in a wooded valley.

    this would be g

  • har

    i don’t imagine a regular turbine would work much better in a wooded valley.

    this would be g

  • wes

    thats a great idea, but not as efficient as the big turbines. and what about the people who live in wooded valleys? people need to get over it. put one in my back yard!! im not a thick skulled elitist..

  • wes

    thats a great idea, but not as efficient as the big turbines. and what about the people who live in wooded valleys? people need to get over it. put one in my back yard!! im not a thick skulled elitist..

  • bawbag

    It’s not going to rotate to catch wind from every direction, so it can never be as good a traditional one.

    Still, better than nothing.

  • bawbag

    It’s not going to rotate to catch wind from every direction, so it can never be as good a traditional one.

    Still, better than nothing.

  • bawbag

    It’s not going to rotate to catch wind from every direction, so it can never be as good a traditional one.

    Still, better than nothing.

  • bawbag

    It’s not going to rotate to catch wind from every direction, so it can never be as good a traditional one.

    Still, better than nothing.

  • http://www.windturbinestar.com/ windturbine

    I have been see this desing in last week. It is really unique idea for the rooftop wind turbines. How about its generator efficiency?

  • http://www.windturbinestar.com/ windturbine

    I have been see this desing in last week. It is really unique idea for the rooftop wind turbines. How about its generator efficiency?

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