One of the iconic images for Netherlands is the windmill – and now wind energy is one of the fastest growing forms of sustainable energy production worldwide.
Windchallenge, a spin-off company from the Technical University of Delft, is run by wind-energy specialists Sander and Eline Mertens. They developed a “plug and play” turbine – a new generation of small wind turbines – after four years of research and testing.
The patented Windchallenge 1.7 features blade tilt for better performance and higher reliability. It’s quiet, efficient and affordable, and can be combined with solar panels. Easily transportable, it can be set up on rooftops, lampposts or greenhouses – or for placement as a sustainable energy source for charging station for e-car, e-scooter or eBike.
The rotor diameter of the Windchallenge is 1.7 meters and the mill weighs about 10 kilograms. With its moving mast of 5 meters the total weight is about 90 kg. It can be installed without a crane and the associated high costs of producing decentralized renewable electricity. It generates around 500 kWh per year at a wind speed of 4m/s and 900 kWh per year at 9m/s. The turbine’s high-energy yield is due to the fact that the blades automatically adjust their position to the speed and direction of the wind.
The Windchallenge 1.7 could be ideal for areas in Canada that get extreme weather. The company challenged the design to see how it would operate in harsh conditions, including ice accumulation, storm and power failure and it passed all tests with flying colours according to Dutch certification for small wind turbines.
The Windchallenge 1.7 has been designed and tested in accordance with IEC 61400-12 International Certification and Dutch Assessment for small wind turbines. Additional advantages are that it can make a visible contribution to local energy, reinforce sustainability policy and involve employees in energy saving.