Eastern Wind Power (EWP), the green energy technology firm conducting the study, claims that ten 50kW Sky Farm vertical access wind turbines (VAWTs) can provide about 10% of the energy that a typical 500,000 square foot high-rise consumes.
"One turbine can power a building’s electrical emergency backup, eliminating the need for a diesel generator,” said Jonathan Haar, president of EWP. “It can also produce more usable energy than a 10,000-square-foot solar photovoltaic array.”
To assess the potential for wind power, EWP has deployed web-based HOBO U30 weather stations from Onset Computer Corporation to measure wind speed, wind gust, and wind direction at the test sites.
“The weather stations allow us to measure all three parameters simultaneously, and access the data online,” said Linda Haar, board chair at EWP. “By charting microclimates in downtown Boston we will be able to help local companies learn if greening their sites with wind power is feasible.”
Wind data from the top of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Green Building in Cambridge, MA has already helped EWP conclude that a single 50kW turbine installed there would generate about 45,000kWh of electricity per year. This amount of energy can power six to eight homes.
EWP is also gathering wind data from the roofs of both 60 State Street and the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary. It plans to collect data from eight more high-rises in downtown Boston by 2013.