Bladeless wind turbine for urban use wins support in Lancashire

Lancaster startup O-Innovations will take its revolutionary bladeless design to market thanks to support of Lancashire County Council’s Access to Finance. 

Inventor Nicolas Orellana began his company, O-Innovations, hoping to revolutionise urban access to renewable technologies. His concept for a wind turbine that could harness wind in urban areas and airports won the prestigious James Dyson Award in 2018.

Nicolas Orrelana and Yaseen Noorani from O-Innovations with their O-Wind bladeless wind turbine

Photo of Nicolas Orrelana and Yaseen Noorani courtesy of Access to Finance Lancashire

The spherical design works with wind approaching from any direction so doesn’t need to be rotated as some bigger turbines do. It is also small enough to suit cities dwellers, such as being fixed onto a balcony outside, for small-scale energy production.  

The mechanical motion makes use of Bernoulli’s principle, the structure is lined with vents that have large entrances and smaller exits for air. The pressure difference as air moves through the sphere make the turbine rotate, which in turn powers a generator to produce cheap and clean energy. 

Having won the award, Nicolas worked with Yaseen Noorani to develop this ingenious technology. Then, through their links with Lancaster University, the pair were put in touch with Access to Finance Lancashire. 

This offers expert financial support at no cost to eligible businesses, helping the team at O-Innovations to find and secure investment. 

They received angel investment from a small group of investors and a grant from Innovate UK grant with a combined value of £160,000. 

The company used this to develop a fully operational product, O-Wind, which it is now preparing to launch to the market. 

Dominic Chippendale, Director at O-Innovations, says: ‘When you are first starting a business, you do not have a strong network of contacts and Access to Finance was also able to provide that, linking us to potential sources of funding and support.’ 

With the product now fully developed, O-Innovations will launch a crowdfunding campaign to enable it to take the product to market.  

This, says Chippendale, will give, ‘people who have been involved in the development process of the product up to this stage the opportunity to become shareholders. We have interest from a large network of enquirers and we aim to go live by the summer.’ 

O-Wind will initially be released in the UK but the company plans to release internationally in future. 

Mark Gibbons, Senior Specialist at Access to Finance specialist, adds: ‘O-Wind is a truly innovative product with the potential to revolutionise the capabilities of wind energy. We’re proud to have supported O-Innovations and looking forward to seeing this product on the market.’  

Access to Finance Lancashire has supported more than 400 business, led to £30m in funding offers and supported the creation of 295 jobs. The service is funded by Lancashire County Council and the European Regional Development Fund. It is delivered by GC Business Growth Hub.

In related news, Drax Electric Insights revealed this month that, for first time, the UK was powered more by wind than gas


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