Siemens into Distributed Power

Siemens, the German industrial giant, is partnering with Boston, MA-based Eastern Wind Poweron a pilot project exploring several small to micro-scale power generation systems.

The pilot project will take place over the course of about six months at Martha’s Vineyard Airport in Edgartown, Mass.

“This is an extremely fast moving business segment, and our Drive Technologies Division is well-positioned to provide complete drive train solutions for OEMs targeting decentralized power generation,” said Razvan Panaitescu, business development manager of the distributed power generation and microgrids sector for Siemens Drive Technologies Division.

Eastern Wind Power has pioneered the so-called “Sky Farm” strategy for bundling a few dozen small wind-power turbines on the roofs of commercial or residential high-rise buildings to produce on-site distributed power in high-density urban areas.

The pilot will focus on integrating a Siemens 55 kW permanent magnet-generator and energy-conversion system with a prototype of Eastern Wind Power’s Vertical Axis Wind Turbine (VAWT) – where the main rotor shaft is set vertically and the main components are located at the base of the turbine. Eastern Wind Power’s VAWT can reportedly generate about 45,000 kWh of electricity annually – equal to the electricity needed to power about seven residences for 12 months – when sited on a high-rise structure.

“Our 50kW VAWT can handle turbulent urban winds, runs virtually silently, does not harm avian life, and can be easily mounted and connected to a power grid,” said Jonathan Haar, President of Eastern Wind Power. “A 10-unit Sky Farm 50 kW will generate enough electrical energy to supply about 10% of a typical 500,000 square-foot high-rise building’s electrical power needs.”

The turbine is interconnected with the electric-power grid in the service territory of NSTAR, the largest Mass.-based investor-owned electric and gas utility.