Unlike conventional wind turbines which rotate on a horizontal axis, Vertogen’s turbine revolves around a vertical axis.
Vertical axis turbines are much quieter and more compact than their horizontal cousins, but have traditionally suffered from many design problems.
Crucially, Vertogen’s design includes a self-governing variable pitch system which creates lift from multiple blades while reducing drag from the remaining ones.
It functions efficiently in open or turbulent wind conditions like urban areas, where other vertical axis wind turbines cannot. It is also totally mechanical, making it more robust, and it can be used to generate either electricity or mechanical output for applications like pumps and compressors.
“The key is to develop a pitch system that takes full advantage of aerodynamic lift from multiple blades while reducing drag”, said director and inventor Mike Chung.
“Our unique solution has been ten years in the making. It can operate in urban and open environments, is scalable from small domestic or commercial installations to wind farms, and it has been entirely manufactured in the North West.”
The turbine’s potential to generate green energy in a variety of environments has already been recognised by the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK, which provided funding in 2014 and 2016 to further the design and undertake a feasibility study.
This year, the company is working with Greater Manchester’s Business Growth Hub to access much-needed support to increase its profile with potential investors and understand how to secure intellectual property rights.
Jack Smith, low carbon sector advisor at the Hub who has been working closely with the company, said: “The UK leads the world in wind power, and Vertogen’s unique design is another example of the huge contribution the North West is making to this success.”
“Vertogen is a valued member of our growing Low Carbon Network and our next steps are to help them secure intellectual property rights and the investment they need.”
Mike Chung added: “Our vision for Vertogen is to create a new type of vertical wind turbine that will change the basic concept forever and produce affordable, efficient and clean energy that will benefit everyone and reduce global pollution.
“We want to find companies who can help us to make this vision a reality. The Hub has already introduced us to new opportunities and their support will be invaluable as we look to bring our product to market.”
To find out more about the Hub’s support for Greater Manchester SMEs, or to read other success stories, click here.