The World's #1 Renewable Energy Network for News, Information, and Companies.

New US Rooftop Wind Turbine Lab

In partnership with the Massachusetts Renewable Energy Trust, the Boston, Massachusetts, Museum of Science, is installing a rooftop Wind Turbine Lab this summer.

The museum has already started the installation of nine wind turbines from five different manufacturers, the largest of which is 40 feet tall (13 metres) and the smallest about seven feet (2 metres) with 5- to 18-foot (1.5 – 6 metres) diameters. The first two turbines are now in place on the Cambridge side of the museum's roof.

The machines featured are the 1.2-kW Mariah Power Windspire, a vertical-axis turbine about 10 metres high; the Southwest SkyStream 3.7 a downwind, horizontal-axis 1.9-kW machine with a 3.7-metre rotor diameter; a Cascade Engineering Swift with a 1.5-kW rated output using an upwind, horizontal-axis design with a 2.1-metre diameter; A bank of five AeroVironment AVX1000 1-kW turbines that have a directional design for building parapets to take advantage of higher speed winds rushing up and over buildings and have a 1.5-metre diameter; and, the Proven 6, a 6-kW downwind, horizontal axis machine with a 5.5-metre rotor diameter.

Designed to demonstrate turbines, the lab will generate valuable experience to help government officials and renewable energy professionals make informed decisions about projects and policy. David Rabkin, Farinon director for current science and technology at the museum explains: "No one has tested five different small turbines in a rooftop laboratory. Although there's lots of interest in small-scale wind turbines, we found little data on their performance and impact. Despite a year of collecting data on the wind at the museum, we still don't really know enough about the turbines to predict their performance."

In addition to obtaining variances and permitting for both Cambridge and Boston, the three-year project involved selecting and siting the turbines to maximize wind exposure, visibility and safety in five different "microclimates." Each turbine was its own engineering project.

Massachusetts Senator John Kerry said: "This project will give us the information we need to debate the benefits of turbines in an urban environment and move forward on the technology front."


Rooftop Solar Panels

Hypocrisy? While Buffett Champions Renewables, His Company Fights Rooftop Solar

Mark Chediak, Noah Buhayar and Margaret Newkirk, Bloomberg Warren Buffett highlights how his Berkshire Hathaway Inc. utilities make massive investments in renewable energy. Meanwhile, in Nevada, the company is fighting a plan that would encourage more residents to use green power.
Renewable Energy Finance

Clean Energy ETFs Are on a Tear

Eric Balchunas, Bloomberg Green investing used to be synonymous with losing money. But while the S&P 500 Index is up 2 percent this year, and the MSCI All-Country World Index is up 5 percent, clean energy ETFs have double-digit re...

Wheels, Towers and Trees: Unconventional Renewable Energy Technologies in the Pipeline

Andrew Williams, International Correspondent A number of companies around the world are developing novel technologies in an effort to grab a slice of the global renewable energy market.  Although many of these technologies are simple incremental improvements to e...
UK Parliament Clean Energy Leaders

UK Government Names Clean Energy Cabinet Members

David Appleyard, Contributing Editor With the UK general election now over and a majority Conservative Party government in place, the re-elected Prime Minister David Cameron has now named key members of the government charged with steering the UK’s clean energ...


Volume 18, Issue 3


To register for our free
e-Newsletters, subscribe today:


Tweet the Editors! @megcichon @jennrunyon



Doing Business in Brazil – in partnership with GWEC, the Global Win...

Brazil is one of the most promising markets for wind energy.  Ranke...

Energy Storage USA 2015

Energy Storage USA is the leading conference in the United States focuse...

Wind Power Central America

Wind power projects are expected to reach 46GW of total installed capaci...


SunEdison Expands Residential Market Offerings with New PPA, Sales ...

SunEdison has largely focussed on the commercial and utility-scale solar...

Deadline for Inclusion in Solar Power World's Top Solar Contractors...

UPDATE: The official deadline for the Solar Power World T...

Are You Ready for a Natural Disaster?

Guest post by Jenna Clarke  Living in the Shenandoah Valley of Virg...


Renewable Energy: Subscribe Now

Solar Energy: Subscribe Now

Wind Energy: Subscribe Now

Geothermal Energy: Subscribe Now

Bioenergy: Subscribe Now