World leading farm scale wind turbine manufacturer Gaia-Wind today announced the introduction of the “Self Raising Tower”. The new hinged and motorised tower makes the Gaia-Wind 133 the biggest small wind turbine (rotor diameter) that can be installed without heavy machinery.
Trialled in The US Virgin Islands and Tonga where winds can be extreme, the innovation brings a range of advantages:
• Enabling a crane-less turbine install, removing the cost of a crane and driver
• Simplifying the installation of a Gaia-Wind turbine on sites with difficult access.
• All the equipment can be brought in and assembled by using normal farm equipment.
• Access roads are dispensed with reducing costs and increasing available farm acreage
o The tower can be lowered and raised for upgrades or maintenance regardless of weather or ground conditions
• The tower can be lowered and secured in the face of extreme weather
Crane and driver hire can be as much as £1000.000 and temporary tracking £100.00 per metre.
The turbine was installed on Mr Steven Fleming’s Copland Farm, near Jedburgh, in the Scottish Borders. Mr Fleming said: “I chose a Gaia-Wind turbine because they have been shown to be quiet, reliable, perform well at lower wind speeds and the larger blade size produces more electricity than similar sized turbines with smaller blades.
“The Tilt up Tower is a really useful innovation because it removes the need for a crane during installation which would be difficult and messy in wet conditions. As a small farm, it has become necessary to diversify into other income sources, so the excess energy produced after supplying the farm and house will be exported to the grid to produce a small extra income. I am also very pleased to be contributing to green energy targets which we are all encouraged to do.”
Gaia-Wind CEO Johnnie Andringa said: “At Gaia-Wind we are committed to innovation and development. The new motorised tower has a range of applications: As we expanded our exports worldwide, we originally developed it to enable our Caribbean and Pacific Island based turbines to withstand extreme winds. But in the UK for example, many rural sites have steep slopes or muddy fields where heavy equipment might get stuck: This can lead to expensive turbine installations, or the disappointment of not being able to install at all.”
“Farm scale wind turbines are fast becoming a vital in sustaining the rural economy. The crane-less install is an innovation by the Gaia-Wind team that brings superior small wind turbine performance to remote rural customers and cuts the cost of electricity generation for all customers.”
The “self raising tower”, comes in the wake of the introduction of a Single Phase option for the successful Gaia-Wind 133 model turbine. This move enables tens of thousands of previously hampered rural homes, businesses, smallholders, crofts and farms, to aim for “energy independence.