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Friday, March 16, 2007

Power up the micro-turbines

ZOE MAK

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Copyright  2007. South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.
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Photo: Oliver Tsang
Lucien Gambarota, president of renewable energy firm Motorwave, demonstrates the eco-friendly micro-wind turbines developed in conjunction with Dennis Leung and Michael Leung from the University of Hong Kong.

The turbines can generate electricity at wind speeds as low as 2 metres per second and can be easily installed on rooftops. "A typical house with three floors and 700 sq ft will only need to install 60 to 100 turbines, covering about 3 square metres, to generate renewable energy for the household," inventor Mr Gambarota said.

Dr Dennis Y.C. Leung said: "About 1 square metre [with turbines] with wind speed at 10 metres per second can generate up to 40 per cent of an average household's daily electricity needs, including lights, LCD monitors and TV sets." Dr Michael K.H. Leung said the energy could also be stored in a rechargeable battery for later use.

"To set up a system with 40 turbines, about 2 square metres of surface area, costs HK$3,000 to HK$3,500. This is certainly affordable to many individual consumers," Dr Dennis Leung said.



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