BroadStar Launches US $1/watt Turbine

A new wind turbine design has been unveiled by BroadStar Wind Systems. The turbine, known as the AeroCam, is aimed at commercial applications. The machine will be available in 10, 250 and 500 kilowatt (kW) designs. BroadStar says its 250 kW machine costs $250,000, making this turbine the first to break through the US $1/watt cost barrier.

The turbine, which looks like an old-fashioned water wheel with parallel rotor blades, can be manufactured, transported, installed and maintained at lower cost than conventional designs, the manufacturers say. The design is also more compact than traditional turbines and can be discretely enclosed, which could make wind power generation possible in a greater variety of locations. The device is also capable of operating in wind conditions ranging from 4-80 miles per hour.

Wind tunnel tests are taking place this year prior to pre-commercial launch, with two of the devices set to be installed in August and a further five pilot sites operating by the end of the year, including one of the larger versions of the design. The lift principle-based machines have mechanically controlled 360° pitch control and the larger versions have a turntable allowing them to adjust the yaw into the most efficient orientation.

“By harnessing its power in almost any setting, the AeroCam can now generate energy close to where it’s actually required.  This is a new and exciting product with great potential,” said Stephen Else, president of BroadStar. “It all adds up to a solution that delivers more power and more choice of location with a lower total cost of acquisition and ownership and a faster payback period.”

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