Many sites have posted on the Aerogenerator from Windpower of Blyth England that is designed in part by Grimshaw Architects of London, New York and Melbourne. The Aerogenerator is a descendant of the Darrieus Rotor design, a 1930s vintage wind turbine from France.

Modern Darrieus Rotor Design

The vertical axis and shaft was developed extensively in the U.S. and Canada in the 1970s making some early research available today. A vertical axis works without any concern or mechanical aiming to the wind direction – a substantial difference from the conventional horizontal axis blade sets we see today. The layout also puts the gear and generator parts closer to the ground offers easier service. And it looks very cool, with the skills of a world-class architect drawing for display, it comes off well.


The early drive came from Grimshaw as they were looking for a wind turbine design that got away from the “propeller on a stick” look, but the concept found a life of its own. Starting with the information on the Darrieus Rotor, Theo Bird, founder and President of Windpower in Blyth assigned his engineer David Sharpe to think through the resources. Sharpe took the concepts apart and reassembled them inventing the concept leading to the artist’s rendering we see today.

While there is no attribution or other details to substantiate the claims, these assertions are being made as to the design’s potential. Keep in mind the air dynamics math on hand today may well get the assertions close to reality. At 135 meters tall or 440 feet running at only 3 revolutions per minute a machine may generate as much as 9 megawatts of electricity. Now that’s a big claim, as the largest 3 blade set is rated at 7.5 megawatts and remains in the engineering stage.

At this writing, the Aerogenerator prototype is being tested. If the results are better than the “propeller on a stick” concept and saves some purchase and installation money adoption could be pretty quick. However, as Bird puts it, “The only thing that’s new is the aerodynamic theory, everything else is proven.” The first run of a 6kW scaled model suggest that the predictions will come very close to the facts.

The Aerogenerator is certainly an attractive concept. I suspect the calculations will come in close to expectations when the prototype tests are complete. Wing design is one of the more thoroughly explored areas and there is much in hand now so new innovations are building on very very good data. It would be a surprise if the design didn’t come close to the power projected.

I’m still left with some questions about the mechanics of the thing. Time will let slip more information but the articulation of the “wings” if you will, and are going to be real interesting. A blade set is articulated with mechanical designs with decades of improvement behind them. Just what goes on inside the wings of the Aerogenerator promises to be very interesting.

The check looks good so far. Much of the data is coming from the Guardian Newpapers in the UK and the tests are being run by the New and Renewable Energy Centre in Blyth, England. These sources are good enough for some congratulations for the fellows across the pond. Lets hope this works out. The drive to lower electrical power generation from the wind is gaining noticeable strength by the week. Over time they will offer the average home and business an affordable wind turbine and soon a major challenge the grid operators to focus on storage.


3 Comments so far

  1. dan shilo on March 11, 2008 2:05 AM

    how can i contact Mr. Theo Bird from windpower in Blyth?

  2. Herberth E. Contreras-Vásquez on December 3, 2009 7:36 PM

    I simply love natural resources

  3. wpl on January 1, 2010 5:53 PM

    dan shilo, you can contact mr bird via

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