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A microgrid with rooftop… wind? Texas firm deploys novel technology at UK naval base

Hover turbine with Liverpool cityscape. Credit: Hover Energy

Texas-based Hover Energy’s first novel wind-based microgrid is being installed at the HMS Eaglet naval base in Liverpool.

In the first phase, the company’s 36kW vertical array turbine has been deployed, along with Hover’s Integrated Energy Management System.

Later phases will build out the balance of the microgrid, including a rooftop solar PV array for additional power generation during the day and batteries for storing excess power, such as power generated at night.

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Squadron Leader Mark Byrne described the installation as “a very significant moment” as representing a step change in the evolution of the Navy’s sustainability work in the northwest of England.

“We fully expect [the microgrid] to exceed our expectations, especially when future phases incorporate solar power and battery technology. Our forecasts show that the wind turbine will drive down our grid electricity consumption by a baseline of 63% which will save a significant amount of taxpayers’ money.”

He adds that HMS Eaglet is a major hub for collaborative work with other agencies, which is among the factors that demand “an assured level of energy supply”.

Hover’s wind turbine is designed for mounting on the windward edge of building rooftops, with the building façade acting as a giant sail to deliver a high level of efficiency, sufficient in most cases to offset 100% of the building’s power consumption, the company says.

In the UK, Hover is working with Task Contract Solutions as its partner and reports deploying the microgrid in several other locations, while other installations – over a dozen in total – are underway in the US and the Caribbean.

Hover Energy reports over 30 US and international patents on its technology. Full-scale commercial production was started in January and the plan is to ramp up the output over the course of the year.

Originally published by Jonathan Spencer Jones at Power Engineering International

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