Intel surprises us with an announcement that it has installed a rooftop array of wind micro-turbines on the roof of its Santa Clara headquarters as part of a pilot project. The chip giant claims that with 58 micro-turbines, it has one of the largest operating rooftop arrays in the world.
Each turbine is about 6 to 7 feet tall and weighs approximately 30lbs. The press sheet notes that based on the average local wind speed (about 8-9mph), the micro-turbines are expected to generate power around 65 percent of the time. Intel cites a power output of 65kWh but offers no further details. Perhaps this is the estimated power output of one turbine on a yearly basis, or the estimated power output of the all 58 turbines on a single day.
We're not sure if there's anything particularly special about these wind turbines. There have been quite a lot of tests of small micro wind turbines in recent years and the overall consensus is that they aren't worth the hassle. In terms of wind turbines, bigger is better as cost-efficiency improves significantly the larger the rotor diameter gets.
Located on the roof of its worldwide headquarters in Santa Clara, California, Intel’s micro-turbines are a
proof-of-concept project, in which Intel hopes to collect data that will help the company better
understand green power and identify ways to continue evolving its sustainability programs.
Intel has installed 58 micro-turbines on the roof of its Santa Clara headquarters, each
measuring between 6 and 7 feet tall and weighing approximately 30 lbs.
Due to their small size, the micro-turbines are versatile in their potential uses and applications.
They are a viable option not only for Intel, but for homeowners and small businesses.
Based on the average local wind speed (about 8-9 mph), the micro-turbines are expected to
generate power approximately 65 percent of the time, or 65 kilowatt-hours (kWh).
The micro-turbines are placed on the edge of the roof to best capture the wind and optimize
power generation. This placement leaves enough space for solar panels, which are installed on
Intel’s roof next to the micro-turbines.
Intel plans to share the data collected from this pilot with local utilities, other companies, the
wind power industry, NGOs and other parties with an interest in driving the adoption of various
green power technologies.
In addition to this project, Intel has:
- Piloted wind micro-turbines and ground-source heat pumps at its site in Guadalajara,
- Installed 2 megawatts of fuel cells at its sites in California
- Supported installation of 21 solar electric facilities across 12 Intel campuses around the
- Deployed over 100 electric vehicle charge stations across Intel’s U.S. and international