Domestic wind turbine by Ben Storan



RCA summer show: here is the first of our posts from The Great Exhibition 2007 - the Royal College of Art Summer Show, which is on at the RCA in London and a temporary venue in Kensington Gardens.


Brí is a domestic wind turbine designed by Industrial Design Engineering graduate Ben Storan. Storan claims the vertically rotating turbine can produce 1.2kW, three times the output of traditional windmill-type generators.


The design has won first prize in the BSI Sustainability Design Awards 2007.


The RCA summer show continues until 28 June.


Below is a product specification and a press release about the BSI award:


Product Specification:

Overall Height: 4 meters
Span Diameter: 2.5 meters
Weight: Cost: Approximately £999
Rated Power Generation: 1.2 kW @ 12m/s


14 June 2007

A revolutionary new design for personal wind turbines wins top prize at the BSI Sustainability Design Awards 2007.

Ben Storan, a student graduating with an MA in Industrial Design Engineering from the Royal College of Art (RCA), has been working for the past year in conjunction with Imperial College to design an affordable personal wind turbine suited to the urban environment.

The result is a unique design which uses vertical, rather than traditional horizontal, rotation. This feature gives a slower rotational speed, which allows the turbine to capture more energy from turbulent air flow, common to urban environments. It also means quieter operation.

As a result, it is able to generate more energy than domestic models currently on the market. Similarly sized existing personal wind turbines claim to generate 1kW at a wind speed of 12 m/s, but typically produce just 40% of what is claimed. Ben’s design should realistically produce 3 times that (1.2kW) of those currently on the market.

The clever vertical rotation design uses lightweight materials, which means Ben’s turbine is more stable than other personal turbines leading to better energy capture and making it is easier to install.

Speaking of winning the award and £3,000 first prize, Ben says “I’m delighted to win such a prestigious award. Growing up in the windy west of Ireland I’ve always been acutely aware of the huge potential in harnessing such a free, clean and renewable source of energy which, along with a spinning clothes line, gave me the idea in the first place."

Whilst still at the early stages of development, Ben hopes that his design will be in production in the not too distant future.

Runners-up in the BSI Sustainability Design Awards 2007 are Joe Wentworth for his retrofit folding handlebars which encourages cycling in urban environments where space for bike storage is at a premium, and Andreas Zachariah for his “Carbon Hero™" personal carbon calculator.

About the BSI Sustainability Design Awards

The BSI Sustainability Design Awards support design projects that promote awareness of sustainability issues or provide sustainable solutions. Now in their 13th year, the Awards are open to all students studying at the Royal College of Art. The Awards help students find out more about their chosen subjects while learning about the relevance of sustainability issues to design. Prize money is used to help research and realise projects.

Past winners include: Peter Brewin for his high performance water-saving shower – The El Nino – which uses 70 per cent less water and 40 per cent less energy than a conventional shower; and Will Crawford and Peter Brewin for “The Concrete Canvas" – a rapidly deployable hardened shelter for use by aid agencies in disaster regions. This ‘building in a bag’ won the $100,000 first prize in the Saatchi & Saatchi 2005 Award for World Changing Ideas.

Posted on Sunday June 24th 2007 at 9:00 pm by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • Bob Rice

    I would like to help commercialize this design and would like to contact Ben Storan… Can you please advise how to reach him?

    Regards, Bob

  • We are in Melbourne Australia and are also interested in the commercialisation of this great idea. Can Ben or a representative contact us

  • Mr.Cho

    How can we contact Ben, we are support by Government Funding, and like to get his right approval or distrbutorship..thank you.

  • Jon

    I am an MSc student doing an essay on domestic wind turbines at the moment. One of the main problems with current turbines is turbulence, but also the fact that getting 12m/s in urban areas at heights of a few metres above a roof top is just not practical. Where can I find more information on this device, as it seems like another good idea for windy rural areas, which is not really where the future market potential is

  • Hello could you advise further information regarding this project.

  • maurice kataszek

    Hello Bill

    Please contact me if you are interested in funding and expansion.



  • Thomas O’Shea


    I also am interested in more information on your wind turbine design. Is it possible that I could purchase a prototype from you or from a distributor and install it on my house? I would also like to know if you have found a distributor in the middle part of the US.

    Any information you supply will be appriciated.

    Keep up the good work.

  • Lin and Danny Sands

    We are very interested in your design. We are building a house in France and want to integrate ‘greener’ ways of living. We currently run a small business & like to support others.

    We would like more information on your wind turbine design. Is it possible that we could purchase a prototype from you or from a distributor and install it on/near our house? We would also like to know if you have a distributor in the South West France where we live.

    Any further information would be appriciated.

  • shailini

    I am writing on behalf of Centre of enveronmental planning and Technology, ahmedabad, India. We are currently running a pilot project on evironmental sustainable buildings and are looking at several roof turbines. We are very interested in building your model and study its function and output in local conditions. Can some one be in touch ASAP?

    You have done a great job and it will bve wonderful to promote it if it works here.


  • Frank Trombetta

    Wonderful design! I would like purchase information (for home use)and possibly be interested in distributorship in the U.S..
    Frank Trombetta

  • andrew leffler

    I am fascinated by this design as i have also seen a German design called a ”Wind Wandler”. It is claimed that your design provides more electricity than the normal turbines which is obviously what the consumer wants and is a good selling point. I am looking at ways to be more efficient at home with energy and also considering starting a business in the future distributing renewable energy.
    I would appreciate any additional imformation on your turbine and if you have any idea of how much it is to buy at trade price or bulk buying.
    Kind regards,

  • Bjr,
    Je suis francais et je suis intéressé par votre système que je souhaiterais installer
    Avez-vous une adresse en france ou vous le vendez.
    Donnez-moi le Prix, S’il vous plait.
    Même si vous cherchez des vendeurs , je suis intéressé, parce que je suis sûr que vous allez en vendre.

    En espérant que vous me répondez au plus vite. Merci.

  • Sanjeev Singh

    Pl. provide contact address of Mr Ben Storen . And if commercial production of these wind turbines started pl provide the contact address of such industry


    Sanjeev Singh

  • Nancy Clayton

    We are in SW Florida on the Gulf coast and have a great breeze off the water all the time and have seriously been considering a wind turbine and this is design is so much more appealing for the residential application. We would also like to know if Mr Storen has considered mfg. in USA! I would like to be the first home with it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  • Hi Can you provide information on this wind turbine where it may be purchased in ireland we live in Mullingar in the south of Ireland
    and run a small country pub

    Many thanks John

  • Tom Fitzsimons

    I live in central Ireland and would very much like to get Mr.Storens contact details with a view to discussing manufacturing, marketing etc,,

  • Greetings. I am interested in both utilizing and commercializing this product in the United States and would appreciate knowing who to speak to.

    Thank you and blessings, Lorrena

  • jo goodacre

    I am looking at installing a wind generator in my new home, construction starting in 5 months. I am near Melbourne Australia and would appreciate any info on your product and availability.
    Cheers and thanks

  • maurizio giacci

    I’m very interested in purchasing the windturbine.Where could I get all tecnicall info needed?Thanks a lot

    maurizio giacci

  • Ben

    updates and information on the turbine design is on my website at:

  • It is a good shape and special design for vertical axis wind turbine. If you can increase the blade quantity, I think it will improve the output efficiency.

  • Wind turbines are used to generate electricity from the kinetic power of the wind. Historical they were more frequently used as a mechanical device to turn machinery.