Just last week we covered SRS Energy’s Solé Power Tiles, which disguise solar panels as clay roof tiles. Now a similarly unobtrusive solution for cloudier climes is on the horizon. RidgeBlade is a wind-power system that can be fitted to buildings with minimum visual impact and maximum energy conversion potential. This micro-generation system employs discreetly housed cylindrical turbines positioned horizontally along the apex of a sloping roof. The slope of the roof naturally channels wind into the turbine chamber, meaning RidgeBlade can “produce electricity under low or variable wind conditions.” This high efficiency means that the system could pay for itself within a few years.
Designed by a former Rolls Royce turbine engineer under the wing of UK-based The Power Collective, RidgeBlade is one of six finalists in the Dutch Postcode Lottery’s Green Challenge. Director Dean Gregory presented the design to judges today at Picnic ’09 in Amsterdam. If they are successful, the team will receive a EUR 500,000 grand prize (or EUR 100,000 if they are one of the two runner-ups) to help them bring the design to market within the next two years. It’s a rapidly accelerating industry—one to get involved in now! (Related: Urban windmills.)
Update 25 Sept 2009 | RidgeBlade won the EUR 500,000 Green Challenge Prize! “It’s beyond a dream,” said English entrepreneur Dean Gregory when Skype founder Niklas Zennström, a contest juror, announced his name. “This means we can focus solely on bringing this to market.” Gregory entered the Challenge on behalf of the English company The Power Collective Limited—after finding out about it two days before the deadline.