Friday, 6 April 2012

So much to tell, so little time...

I'll start off by offering the now traditional apology for the length of time since my last post, but in my defence we have been very busy.. In the last year we have had a major redesign of the RidgeBlade, making it more efficient, lighter, cheaper to manufacture, and even developing a version that doesn't need a pitched roof! We now have two versions of the RidgeBlade, with the main difference only being in size - the smaller version is designed for domestic houses, and the larger one for agricultural and industrial buildings. The new versions have been in test for over 6 months now, and we are happy to report that they are performing exactly as expected, producing good power, silently and without vibration. So how much power? Well, in an average UK location (average wind speed), the larger version will produce an annual output of over 3200kwh from a 10 module installation. As for noise, well, whilst I said "silently" earlier, nothing is totally silent, and at full speed, the RidgeBlade generates 66.1 Db which is inaudible over the sound of the wind. Were we pleased? Oh yes! A lot of work has gone into the noise elimination technology and our Technical Director deserves a hearty pat on the back for the stunning results.

Another change to the design is the aerodynamically controlled over-speed protection. What's that you say? Effectively it means that the rotors reach their maximum speed at 25mph wind speeds and above that wind speed, the rotor speed remains constant so that they do not spin out of control. This also means that we do not need the electrically operated shutter mechanism seen on version 1, so the design is much lighter, simpler and cheaper. The unit has seen some pretty impressive storms over the winter, and measured wind speeds of nearly 70mph, and it worked perfectly. Smug? Us? You bet.

The next question that you will ask is "What does it cost?". Slightly more difficult here - until the units go into full production it's difficult to say what the final price will be, but it looks very likely that they will provide power more cheaply than solar pv, which was one of our objectives.

The other question that we are getting asked a lot is "when can I buy one?" Again - difficult to be precise, but we are in discussions at the moment that will hopefully see RidgeBlades being manufactured in the near future - and judging by the level of enquiries that we are getting form around the world, not just in the UK.