We demonstrated the tremendous potential for vertical axis wind turbines (VAWTs) offshore compared with traditional designs. This should lead to renewed focus on investment and commercial development of very large vertical axis machines.

Key Facts

    • The NOVA (Novel Offshore Vertical Axis turbine) project helped inform decisions on the type of technologies for the next stage of our offshore wind programme

    • It created a collaborative partnership between SMEs, universities and corporations that would not have happened otherwise

    • Other partners in the £2.8 million project included OTM Consulting Ltd, CEFAS (Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science), University of Sheffield, QinetiQ Ltd, University of Strathclyde, James Ingram & Associates and Wind Power Limited

  • Funded by Energy Technologies Institute (ETI)

Impact of our research

We looked at the techno-economical feasibility of a novel offshore vertical axis wind turbine (VAWT). The technical, economic and environmental feasibility of British company Wind Power Limited’s Aerogenerator concept were examined to highlight the potential advantages over conventional turbines.

The focus was on achieving significant cost reductions and the project examined whether vertical axis wind turbines could offer significantly cheaper electricity due to the size and scale of the machines as well as simpler maintenance when compared to conventional turbines.

The techno-economic potential of both a ‘fixed to the seabed’ version and a ‘floating’ version were assessed.

Why the research was commissioned

We examined whether vertical axis wind turbines (VAWTs) could offer significantly cheaper electricity due to the size and scale of the machines, as well as simpler maintenance, when compared to conventional turbines.

Why Cranfield?

We are internationally recognised as a centre of excellence in vertical axis wind turbines (VAWTs) research.

As part of this project, our Enhanced Composites and Structures Centre designed and manufactured carbon fibre composite turbine sails for the Cranfield experimental 50kW (kilowatt) vertical axis wind turbine demonstrator.

Facilities used

Cranfield's Enhanced Composites and Structures Centre.