These new wind turbines can reduce the cost of energy by 20%

Myriad Wind’s first small-scale demonstrator will be about 10 metres tall.

The size of wind turbines has grown steadily over the past few decades, with the largest machines projected to stand 300 metres tall in a few years. That’s almost the height of London’s Shard, the tallest building in western Europe.

Yet, with increased size come exponential costs associated with logistics and maintenance.

Enter Myriad Wind. A team of PhD researchers focusing on renewable energy — from magnetic gearboxes to modular wind turbines and wind farm layouts optimisation. And a new design for “a technology that’s been around for 50 years — you’ve got a tower with a single rotor on top, and while it does work, there are limitations,” founder Adam Harris says.

While completing Conception X, Myriad has developed a new modular design for multi-rotor wind turbines that could significantly reduce costs while increasing energy capture.

“Our technology can generate more energy from the same wind speed compared to a normal wind turbine,” Harris, who’s completing his PhD at the University of Edinburgh School of Engineering, says. “Studies have shown that if you have 45 rotors clustered together, there’s an 8% increase in energy capture.”

Through Conception X, Harris met his co-founders Peter Taylor and Paul Pirrie while launching a startup out of his research. “By breaking down the path from lab to startup into a series of clear steps, the programme has made it feasible for me to start my own company,” Harris says.

“I love the idea of building something out that really motivates me and has a positive environmental impact as well.”

The team at the Myres Hill test site; from left to right: co-founders Paul Pirrie, Adam Harris and Peter Taylor, and John Bingham of the Energy Technology Centre.

Although early stage, Myriad has already won the Demo Day 2021 award and caught the attention of investors and potential partners. Next, the team plans to build a small-scale demonstrator to show that the technology works.

“There’s been work done in academia, but no one’s built one of these things and really tested it,” Harris says.

Initially, the team plans to build smaller turbines for community projects in Scotland, where the three researchers are currently based, and gradually scale up to design turbines for wind farm developers.

“Conception X has really motivated me to focus on my PhD and complete it as quickly as possible to then commit to Myriad full time. It’s been a challenge to juggle both, but I’m really excited to get this done, so it’s worth every second I spend on it.”

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Conception X

Conception X

Venture builders creating deeptech startups from leading research labs and PhD programmes around the UK. conceptionx.org