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Filmed and edited by Will White

Picture credit: Quiet Revolution 

Quiet Revolution's new design of wind turbine
The inaugural Annual Energy Symposium was held at Cambridge's Centre for Mathematical Sciences. Sally Daultrey, one of the organisers, said: "This symposium offers an opportunity to discover the wealth of expertise in energy research at Cambridge."

Dr Tamas Bertenyi of the company Quiet Revolution described his company's design for an urban wind turbine. He argued that the turbine is more aesthetically pleasing than the normal design, making it more suitable for use in towns and cities. It is also more efficient.

Quiet Revolution's turbine rotates around a vertical axis like a spinning top. This means that it continues spinning if the wind direction changes, unlike the familiar three-blade wind turbines, which have to be aligned to capture the wind if it shifts. This alteration means that the new turbine is 40% more efficient than the conventional design.

Michael Reid of Milestone New Product Development pushed for the development of Combined Heat and Power (CHP) for use in homes throughout the UK. This involves making use of the waste heat generated by electricity generation and using it to heat the home.

Reid argued that "if one quarter of the households in the UK used CHP, that would be the government's CO2 reduction targets by 2020 met." Reid's company is involved in the commercialisation of CHP technology.

Professor Tim Green of Imperial College London tackled the issues that new sources of energy will raise for the National Grid. In particular, the majority of wind farms will be located off the north-west coast of Scotland. At present there is very little grid coverage in these regions, and this will have to be constructed if wind power is to be harnessed.

Picture credit: Michael Marshall 

The Centre for Mathematical Sciences
Dr Justin Hayward of Cambridge Investment Research Ltd described the problems facing companies trying to take new energy technologies to the mass market. Like any other new product, he argued, these technologies must meet economic criteria; for example, it must be possible to manufacture them quickly, cheaply and in large quantities. Until these conditions are met, the technologies will not take off.

The Symposium was jointly organised by the Cambridge University Energy Network, which brings together energy researchers from different scientific disciplines, and the Cambridge Environmental Initiative, which supports environmental research at the University. There was a poster competition, sponsored by the Cambridge Energy Forum.

Cambridge University Energy Network

Cambridge Environmental Initiative

Cambridge Energy Forum

Quiet Revolution

Professor Tim Green at Imperial College

Milestone New Product Development

Written by Michael Marshall