Harnessing the power of the wind

An innovative technology company in Saxony has developed a microprocessor that helps maximise the potential of wind power installations.

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The project aimed to help maximise the potential of small wind energy installations The project aimed to help maximise the potential of small wind energy installations

To help with the project’s costs Chemnitz-based Ventego AG made use of an ERDF-funded scheme, called InnoPrämie, which helps fund the research and development needs of small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs).

The aim of the project was to develop a product that would help to maximise the potential of small wind energy installations to generate electricity efficiently. The one-year research project was carried out in co-operation with the Toni Hoyer software and hardware company in Chemnitz and the resulting product is a microprocessor-based system that manages the network operation of small wind installations, either in the home or in small businesses.

Potential for households to save on energy costs

The resulting product does away with the need for the motor operation of installations as well as energy-using wind measurement devices such as cup anemometers, which generally have to be electrically heated during the winter months, when temperatures are cold.

At a time of rising electricity prices, it is hoped that the new product gains popularity with anybody looking to help the environment and save on energy costs. A prototype of the microprocessor chip was successfully tested in 2012 and it is hoped to launch the product commercially during 2013.

Ventego’s managing director Michael Webner said he was hopeful to see a good demand for the product from households and small companies. Ventego currently employs two full-time workers and three part-time employees. If the new product is successful the number of employees could be increased in the future. “This puts us in a good position with regard to the competition,” Mr Webner said. “Our 4 kW small wind energy installation is an investment in the future, which pays off both ecologically and economically.”

The InnoPrämie scheme aims to encourage co-operation between universities, research institutions and companies engaged in research and development and to stimulate technology transfer from research into the economy.

Total and EU funding

The “Wind energy for home use” project had a total budget of EUR 20 160 of which the EU’s European Regional Development Fund contributed EUR 7 500 for the 2007 to 2013 programming period. The national contribution was EUR 2 500. The project is funded through the priority “Strengthening innovation, science and research” of the Operational Programme for Saxony 2007-2013.

Draft date