When it comes to renewable energy, wind turbines are certainly one of the greener and more sustainable options. Their biggest drawbacks is that they have to be large to produce enough energy, and that they make a lot of noise, which is why they havenâ€™t yet been widely adopted by homeowners. However, The Archimedes, a Holland-based renewable energy start-up is currently working on a solution to this problem. They are designing a wind turbine small enough to be mounted on the roof of a typical home, but which is still highly efficient at converting wind to energy and does so nearly soundlessly.
According to the company, this so-called Liam F1 turbine would be able to generate 1,500 kWh of energy per year at wind speeds of 5m/s, which is enough to satisfy about half of an average household’s energy use. If combined with a rooftop mounted solar PV array, the system would generate enough energy to take a home off-the-grid.
The blades of the Liam F1 turbine are shaped like a Nautilus shell, which enables the turbine to be pointed into the wind and therefore capture the maximum amount of energy, yet remain silent. This type of turbine design was invented by Marinus Mieremet, who is certain that the power output of the Liam F1 turbine is 80 percent of the theoretical maximum energy that could be harnessed from the wind.
According to Mieremet, the design of the Liam F1 is such that it will start to spin even when the wind is blowing at an angle of 60 degrees into the rotor. The turbine also does not need expensive software to run since its conical shape allows it to automatically open itself into the optimal wind direction, much like a wind wane would. The silent operation is guaranteed since there is so little resistance encountered by the turbine.
Each Liam F1 wind turbine weighs 75 kg, and is made from fiberglass and RVS. The company is currently working on an even smaller wind turbine which could be used to power LED lampposts or on boats.