Wind energy plants with vertical axle near alpine refuges
Impianti eolici ad asse verticale presso rifugi alpini
Some wind plants with vertical axle have been realized near alpine refuges managed both by CAI and privates (wind rotor). They have a low visual impact and they are able to exploit both conditions of weak and non-constant intensity wind.
- Energy supply
To provide alpine refuges (or isolated mountain structures) with plants for the Energy provisioning from renewable sources (particularly to exploit wind currents with non-constant intensity) characterized by a weak impact both on landscape and environment. The plan aims to progressively eliminate noisy and pollutant generators.
Rotors with vertical axle able to work apart from the wind direction, with low winds velocity and able to hold a constant power also when wind increases over a particular threshold and to remain quiet with strong winds too, characteristic in high mountain. The company Ropatec of Bolzano produces several typologies of these rotors and has installed some of them near some refuges: next to Sennes Refuge (private, at 2.126m high, a plant of 4kW); near Cima Libera Refuge (Bolzano’s Cai); at Marchetti Refuge managed by SAT (the plant worked since ’99 to 2005 then it has been dismantled after it had been damaged by the snow); and near the Hut Muller (little plant 3kW). The biggest one (20kW) has been installed in the municipality of Lavis (TN), near the Brennero’s highway. Besides, they exist some hybrid models wind/photovoltaic.
Models of old generation showed problems about upkeep and middle-low yields. Modern plants don’t allow to replace completely old generators, but can considerably limit their use. The dependence on batteries (accumulators) remains one of the limits of this technology. In future wide margin of improvement are expected.
Other public bodies
Club Alpino Italiano's refuges, private refuges and structures at high altitude.
Online information on the measureWeb-site of Rotapec, company leader in the production of wind plant with vertical axle.
Web-site of the Cima Libera's hut (in the picture we can see the rotor).
Link to the article about the wind plant realized near Lavis.