WindSurf - A self-starting, active-pitch, vertical-axis wind turbine

WindSurf aims to develop a core enabling technology - active blade pitching for a vertical axis wind turbine. This will allow wind turbines to operate in challenging wind conditions, to operate quietly and for new, lower maintenance turbine designs. WindSurf will open up new sites for wind energy: sites previously rejected because wind speeds were too low, variable or subject to swirling, or where noise nuisance would have been a concern. WindSurf will tackle all three parts of the energy trilemma: reducing emissions, increasing security of supply, and reducing cost.

WindSurf is a vertical axis, active pitching wind turbine. Swift’s patented  control technology uses servomotors to continually alter blade pitch, which allows self-starting in windspeeds as low as 3m/s, and optimised energy capture in free and turbulent wind streams. Edinburgh’s role in this project is to produce an optimised design of the electrical generator for the WindSurf rated at 16kW, taking into account the environment in which it will be operating. A direct drive generator will be used to eliminate the gearbox, which will improve reliability and efficiency. Both of these contribute to LCOE: reliability through increased availability and reduced OPEX; and improved efficiency will enhance annual energy yield.

A generator will be designed and built that is optimised for the structure of the Swift wind turbine. In order to achieve such an optimised design an integrated design approach is required, which links electromagnetic design, with structural design and thermo-fluid design.

Principal Investigator: 


Postgraduate Researchers: 

Research Institutes: 

  • Energy Systems

Research Themes: 

  • Electrical Power Conversion

Last modified: 

Thursday, May 13, 2021 - 17:53