Progress. Innovation. Sustainability.
Led by Anthony Fenwick-Wilson, in association with Professor Mark Cross and his team at Swansea University, Crossflow Energy developed Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) capabilities to model the complex air flow in a Crossflow turbine which required validation in real world conditions.
Our turbine design concept utilises both drag and lift and shielding in a subtle complex mix to capture the fluid energy in an effective manner at low tip speed ratios. The first experimental wind turbine model (C-feg) was designed, built and tested at MIRA, one the largest wind tunnels in the UK, to successfully validate the CFD predictions.
The technology was further explored in a marine current environment by building a test turbine (AQUA-feg) and running tests in the water flume tank at IFREMER in Boulogne Sur Mer, France. These experiments allowed us to determine the turbine performance in different Reynolds number scenarios.
Both the CFD modelling and wind tunnel tests have shown that Crossflow Energy had invented a revolutionary and potentially disruptive technology. To continually improve the CFD, a 22m R&D prototype (X-feg) was erected and installed at the Test Site in Port Talbot, South Wales. The underlying research in this major design activity has been published in leading research journals and the technology is now globally patented. Our thanks to all who contributed.
Extensive market research led the next stage in technology development, combining Crossflow’s novel wind turbine with solar PV and battery storage to provide continuous and reliable clean energy as a viable alternative to diesel generation in remote off/weak-grid locations; and developing an in-house Smart Energy Management system to optimise energy capture and ensure continuous clean power output.
In 2019 the Crossflow Pre-production prototype Turbine was successfully installed and commissioned as part of an Integrated Energy System (IES) at the company test site in Port Talbot, Wales.
2020 – The company is now focused on rapid roll-out of the technology and is on schedule to install an IES unit to power a Telecom Tower in the Caribbean later this year as proof of concept, this being a key step towards commercial viability.
Future – Enabling connectivity for All
Following a period of research and consultation with mobile network operators (MNOs), and with financial backing from angel investors, a prototype design has been developed for a full-service, 100% renewable-powered telecom tower – the ECO-MAST.
Crossflow’s next generation turbine has been developed to sit atop its designed telecom tower to capture wind energy (with accompanying solar pv and storage) while requiring minimal maintenance – the whole unit compromising a stand-alone ECO-MAST. The ‘ECO-MAST’ has been specifically designed to provide reliable & affordable energy to telecoms towers; facilitating 4/5G connectivity in rural ‘not spots’, ensuring resilient connectivity for all.
The Crossflow Team acknowledges with thanks the people below who made invaluable contributions at every stage of the development of the technology.
Key research publications
- S. Rolland, M. Thatcher, W. Newton, A.J. Williams, T. N. Croft, D.T. Gethin, and M. Cross, Benchmark experiments for simulations of a vertical axis wind turbine, Applied Energy,111, 1183-1194 (2013) DOI: 10.1016/j.apenergy.2013.06.042
- S. Rolland, W. Newton, A.J. Williams, T. N. Croft, D.T. Gethin, and M. Cross, Design by simulation of a vertical axis wind turbine device with experimental validation, Applied Energy, 111, 1195-1203 (2013) DOI 10.1016/j.apenergy.2013.04.026
- S. Rolland, M. Thatcher, R. Ellis, B. Gaurier, T. N. Croft and M. Cross, Performance assessment of a vertical axis turbine in a marine current flume tank and CFD modelling, Int Jnl Marine Engineering, 12, 35-45 (2015)
- Hafezi, S. Rolland, D. McBride, T.N. Croft, M. Cross and R. Ellis, A CFD case study of using turbulence models for evaluating the performance of a drag based vertical axis wind turbine, ACME Conference CD Proceedings, Swansea University, April 2015
- M Kear, B Evans, R Ellis, S Rolland, Computational Aerodynamic Optimisation of Vertical Axis Wind Turbine Blades, Appl Math Modelling, 40, 1038-1051 (2016)
The Welsh Government have produced an article on the work of Crossflow