Tech & Science
British students invented a wind turbine for the City
The O-Wind Turbine makes use of previously untapped wind energy in bustling cities where classic wind turbines can't be installed.
Nicolas Orellana and Yaseen Noorani, students at Lancaster University have been named as recipients of the 2018 UK James Dyson Award for their invention, the O-Wind Turbine. The James Dyson Award is an international student design award that challenges young people to, "design something that solves a problem."
Orellana and Noorani identified the problem of untapped wind energy in cities. Wind turbines are generally available in areas with large, open spaces. They use the energy of the wind to create electricity. They are only able to capture wind that blows horizontally, which is not an issue in open countryside. However, due to the tall buildings in cities, the wind blows chaotically in every which way, causing wind turbines to be inefficient.
That is where the O-Wind Turbine comes in. Orellana and Noorani came up with a simple geometric shape, whose inner vents are able to utilize winds coming from every direction. This will allow us to use the untapped resource of urban wind. No matter which direction the wind hits from, the O-Wind Turbine spins on a fixed axis, driving a generator that converts energy into electricity. Individuals can harness this energy as a direct source of power, or it can be fed back to the city’s grid.
Due to the simplicity of the design, the O-Wind Turbine is cheap to manufacture and easy to set up. Orellana and Noorani want their creation to be reliable for many years, and so they only use sustainable materials.
“Our belief is that making it easier to generate green energy, people will be encouraged to play a bigger own role in conserving our planet,” said Orellana, “Winning the James Dyson Award has validated our concept, and given us the confidence to approach investors to secure the capital we need to turn our idea into a reality.”
The James Dyson Award has given them the structure that they needed in order to further develop their design. It also gives their invention validation; in the future when they look for investors, it will be very helpful that their creation is backed by the James Dyson Award.