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21/12/2018 — Alternative Energy
Single blade turbine for renewable market

A South Island company has produced a single blade turbine that is set to grow in the wind energy business.

The Press newspaper reported that Dunedin-based Powerhouse Wind claims its small turbine cold make wind energy as accessible as solar energy for people with the right properties.

Bill Currie of Powerhouse Wind is one of a team behind the single blade Thinair turbine.

The Press was told a turbine can run all night, and operate during a summer's breeze.

Currie said the Thinair differs from other single-bladed turbines in that it uses two counterweights, giving it numerous advantages and attracting interest in New Zealand and overseas.

The claimed advantages include noise reduction, reliability, the ability to operate in high winds, and easy to pack and to install.

People could use the turbine to power their houses, ideally on lifestyle blocks, and even be able to feed-back power into the grid.

The Press said Currie, who had been off the grid for 18 years, had one of the turbines at his lifestyle block.

The company was founded in 2007, and over the past decade had received funding from the Government agency Callaghan Innovation, crowd-funded more than $500,000 via a Pledgeme campaign and had a research partner in the form of Otago Polytechnic.

The tertiary institution also had a Thinair machine installed at its campus, one of 16 sold around the country and overseas, including Australia and the Solomon Islands.

The turbine in the Solomon Islands, funded by Caritas aid agency and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, helped create a remote power station in an isolated village.

Currie said that previously this village relied on a diesel generator, running for three hours a day. The village now had 24 hour power.

Early next year Powerhouse Wind plans to build 10 machines, while learning how to make them in a “more continuous way”

Currie said the Thinair has attracted overseas interest, and the export potential was exciting.

Source: press.co.nz

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Bill Currie at work. Photo: The Press.
A Thinair turbine.