Urban Green Energy’s Vertical Axis Wind Turbine


A company called Urban Green Energy is putting out what they’re calling a vertical axis wind turbine, and they’ve incorporated it with a solar PV panel into a few designs for a street light fixture.  The vertical axis turbine is what it says – a turbine that incorporates vertical blades into its rotation, cutting down on form factor and maybe even making the fixture a little sleeker than a regular bladed prop.  Urban Green Energy also has the typical propeller design as well, but have added this vertical axis device into their rep.  LED powered, wind and solar powered, this design is to help eliminate the draw of urban street lighting from the grid.

There is little info on the fixture as of yet – Urban Green Energy only has an inquiry form on it.

solar wind streetlamp

streetlamp solar

solar led street lamp

streetlamp vertical axis

Thanks, Josh Spear!

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  1. I am a bit skeptical about it. Perhaps if they took out the green in it and found a way to make the design a little less obtrusive it would get more bites. I wonder if the cost of it really would ever come close to being paid back by the savings in power, do street lights even draw that much? I also wonder if they would need costly maintenance..

    It seems like solar cells that charge a battery should provide enough power for an LED light. An intersection near by my house has a temporary traffic light that is power solely on a solar panel that is about 3’x3′

  2. Ricardo

    In your linked article it mentions that the bigger the turbine the greater the benefit. Would you expect the design of the turbine to make a difference? I see that the Urban Green Energy turbines are designed to catch wind moving in any direction. Do you think this would make these turbines more efficient than traditional designs of the same size?

  3. I am always amazed when people with little or no understanding (such as Ricardo above) jump to the opportunity to shoot something down. The data collected in the various reports that he quotes are based on poor wind conditions. Look at the power curves of these units and you will see that they need more than 3.8 m/s to generate as was common in the Dutch study that actually had a VAWT. The other tests were with HAWT only and had poor conditions in most cases as well. Thorough reading does provide that in good wind conditions, the British test did provide good electricity generation.
    Vertical Axis Wind Turbines (VAWT) do perform better in turbulated wind areas such as urban areas. If you look at the performance curve of the UGE 1kW for instance, the cut-in speed is 3.3 m/s, at which point it is only generating milli-amps. It is not until you get into the 5-10 m/s range that it starts to perform. Basing judgements on half truths is unfair and poor for the industry. That is like judging that solar is ineffective based on performance at nightime. Site choice is critical. Some places are not relevant due to wind conditions. That does not mean that they do not work! Place one of these small turbines in Chicago or Winnipeg and you will get far different results than in places with average wind speeds of 3-4 m/s.

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