23 September 2008

Wind turbine for healthy building

Colchester Campus

The University of Essex is spear heading its energy efficiency campaign by installing a new wind turbine at the Colchester Campus this week.

Journalists are invited to see and photograph the wind turbine, which is to be placed on the new School of Health and Human Sciences Building on Thursday 25 September. It is expected to generate enough energy to power half the building, showing how even relatively small projects can have a significant impact on the environment.

Chris Woodman, Project Officer in the University’s Estate Management Section, explains: ‘This 9 metre QR5 wind turbine is specifically designed for an urban environment as its triple-helix shape minimises noise and vibration to near silence and improves efficiency by creating an even driving force from the wind, more appropriate for near and around buildings.’

‘This wind turbine will save approximately 0.42kg of carbon dioxide per kilowatt of energy generated. It is estimated that during the course of a year it will generate in the region of 8050kwh of energy at the predicted wind speed of 5.4m/s, therefore displacing approximately 3.48 tonnes of carbon dioxide. During the turbine’s anticipated 25 year design life it will save more than 87 tonnes of carbon dioxide.’

The turbine was also chosen for its visual impact. As the Colchester Campus is set in 200 acres of parkland, the QR5’s elegant vertical design was favoured over more traditional, horizontal axis turbines. Its location will allow ease of access for maintenance, while giving the turbine a prominent and highly visible position on campus.

The University is committed to reducing its impact on the environment. The recently completed Centre for Brain Sciences building excels with a combination of sustainable technologies including ground source heat pumps (which use the energy within the soil to heat the building), solar panels to heat water and rainwater harvesting for flushing toilets.

The University’s Energy Manager, Richard Frost, has introduced an extensive thermal imaging programme to target heat loss from University buildings. This is in addition to other proactive measures like installing photovoltaic solar panels to assess different renewable technologies on campus and commissioning a feasibility study into the greater use of wind turbine technology on the campus.

The University also saved over 300 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year with an on-going insulation programme of its extensive heating infrastructure.


Notes to editors:
The wind turbine is being installed as part of the new School of Health and Human Sciences Building from 8am on Thursday 25 September at the Colchester Campus. Please let the Communications Office know on telephone: 01206 872807 or e-mail: comms@essex.ac.uk if you intend to send a photographer.

Photographers are welcome during the day on Thursday 25 September to view the installation process or can visit during late afternoon on Thursday 25 September or any time on Friday 26 September when the wind turbine will be in place.

The QR5 wind turbine will be purchased from and installed by Quiet Revolution, a UK based company specialising in vertical axis wind turbines.

For further information please contact the University of Essex Communications Office on telephone: 01206 874377 or e-mail comms@essex.ac.uk.

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