Thursday, 6 December 2007


Mercedes-Benz spins the winds of change

In keeping with its pioneering spirit, Mercedes-Benz UK has installed a vertical axis wind turbine at its site in Tongwell, Milton Keynes.

The 20m tall, vertical axis wind turbine, one of only six in the country, is specially designed for urban spaces and spins wherever the wind comes from, thanks to its unique helical (twisted) design. Its high-tech carbon fibre blades are designed to minimise noise or vibration.

The electricity generated by the wind turbine in one year will be enough to power electric smart fortwos (smart ed) for 30,000 miles of driving. As a comparison, this means enough annual electricity to power two average sized homes or an office of 20 people; or to boil water to make around 50,000 cups of tea.

Wilfried Steffen, President and CEO of Mercedes-Benz UK, said: “Mercedes-Benz is taking the lead by installing this energy saving technology; we hope to inspire other local companies to do whatever they can to reduce their carbon footprint.”

The specially designed wind turbine has carbon-fibre blades and, mounted, reaches a height of 20 metres. (The turbine rotor itself is five metres high.) Three stylish charging points have been installed next to the turbine, which can be used to charge electric vehicles, including the smart ed.

Steffen continued: “Mercedes-Benz invests in a wide range of environmental technologies through its vehicles and production facilities and this is another way we can lead by example and make a difference.”

As part of its commitment to the environment, Mercedes-Benz UK is exploring how a combination of wind energy, ground-source heat pumps, rainwater harvesting and solar water heating could help achieve a longer term goal of generating 10% of its energy on site.

The wind turbine was manufactured by Quiet Revolution Ltd, who develop and supply elegant renewable energy solutions, especially small wind products optimised for use at the point of energy demand.

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